Oesterle Library News

Archive for April 2013

Spring has sprung. Use the Research by Subject pages.

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Just a reminder that Oesterle Library’s web site includes these very helpful “Research by Subject” pages. For many areas of study, like Exercise Science and Biology, Librarians have compiled online subject guides. These include links to relevant databases, lists of useful reference books and important journals, catalog search tips, and a new books section – highlighting additions to the collection in that subject area. Celebrate a return to outdoor living and check out the Environmental Sciences subject guide or the Urban and Suburban Studies subject guide.

Study for your Mid-terms at Oesterle Library

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

We have study areas to satisfy all your studying needs. For setting up at a table and feeling the study vibe all around you, the Reference Room on the main level is your best bet. The tables in the Tyson Center, also on the main level, are a good locale for spreading out your project and getting it finished off. Group study rooms on the main level and lower level are great places to get things hashed out with your group – two of them have computers with projectors. If you need absolute silence, remember that the lower level periodicals room is a designated quiet study area. There are also comfy chairs here and there throughout the library where you can settle in and study the night away. Click for a complete list of libray hours.

Use a database to find a journal article (or a video, or a legal case, or a pamphlet from 1838)

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Databases are search tools that help you find articles in journals. Databases like JSTOR and Academic Search Premier contain articles from many different academic fields. Some disciplines, like Psychology and Education, have their own databases, PsychInfo and ERIC. To investigate which databases may be useful to you, start at the Research by Subject page and select your area of study; the relevant databases are listed right there with descriptions. You may also want to check out some other databases that contain different types of resources: images, videos, TV news transcripts, opinion polls, historical documents, music, and more! You never know when something like that may be useful for a project. Here are a few examples:

  • Lexis-Nexis is a huge database that contains all sorts of sources – company reports and directories, legal resources, news transcripts, international news, biographical info, and a ton more.
  • Music Online is a searchable database of streaming audio and liner notes for more than 75,000 American, classical and global songs from many genres.
  • Women and Social Movements covers American women’s history from 1600-2000 and includes primary source materials (pamphlets, photos, audio recordings, etc).

Take a look through the alphabetical list of databases with descriptions; you will be surprised by all the interesting resources there.

Very cool print reference sources!?!?!

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

There are some extremely cool reference sources that are in book form. Very useful, detailed sources, focused on specific topics, that may actually be EASIER to consult than it would be to gather the information on the Web. For example:

Standard & Poor’s Industry Surveys provide detailed analysis of specific industries such as Biotechnology, Communication Equipment, Homebuilding, and Lodging & Gaming. Each 40-45 page report is updated twice annually and includes trends, key ratios and statistics, industry references and a comparative company analysis.

Switching gears now, a great source for film reviews is Magill’s Cinema Annual. Beginning in 1982, each annual volume profiles the films released that year, including a detailed synopsis, cast and credits and a list of all the published reviews – super useful of you are looking for reviews of older films!

And let’s not forget the subject-specific encyclopedia – a ridiculous amount of detail all in one place that you can page through to learn more about your area of interest. Some neat examples: Encyclopedia of Recreation and Leisure in America, The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre, American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia, and The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can’t See.

Useful reference books for each NCC area of study are listed on Oesterle Library’s Research by Subject web pages. The Reference Collection is located on the main floor of Oesterle Library.

Scholarly, Peer-reviewed, Academic Journals. What are they exactly?

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

It’s that time of the term when you get the assignment to find articles from scholarly journals. Your assignment may refer to them as peer-reviewed journals or academic journals or even refereed journals. While there are small differences between these terms, don’t sweat it. They basically all refer to articles written by one or more scholars or researchers, usually reporting the results of a study or of research. When the author submits the article to be published, his or her peers – other experts in that field of study (for example – Economics, East Asian Studies, Nuclear Physics) – review the work to verify that it contributes to the knowledge in that field and that sound research practices were followed. Here are two examples of what the articles from scholarly journals look like:

journal of Fish Biology

For more detailed information on this topic, check out the Help With Research page on the Library web site.