Friday, March 27, 2009

Finding journal articles: Part two

Let's do a little exercise: Your professor gives you the following citation in your required readings:

Ledford, K.F. (1995). German lawyers and the state in the Weimar Republic. Law and History Review, (13)2. 317-349.

Where do we go from here? Remember last week's blog post? The screengrab to the right is the same as last week, so take a look to refresh yourself. Here, you already know what journal you want, so you don't need to check ProQuest Research Library, Ebscohost Academic Search Premiere, "Databases by Subject," or "Databases by Title." That means this week, we will be focusing on Gallaudet e-Journals.

In this case, you already know what journal you want -- Law and History Review -- but you're not sure what database it's available in, so you go all the way to the right in the screengrab above to "Gallaudet e-Journals."

"Gallaudet e-Journals" is our listing of all the journals we subscribe to electronically; it's a good way to narrow down your search even further. You just search for the name of the journal, and then you'll see whether we have it, and if we do, how many years' worth of issues we have, and what database it's available through.

So in the case of our example above, you can see the name of the journal is Law and History Review. Just enter "law and history review" into the search box et voila! It hath appeared (picture to the left).

Sometimes it can be hard to understand an e-Journal record. Let's take a look at the e-Journal record for Law and History Review.

Here you'll see a listing of the databases it's available in, how far back they go in each database, and whether or not we may have full-text access. For example, we see that you can access articles from Law and History Review in JSTOR Arts and Sciences 4 between the years of 1983 and 2005 and in LexisNexis Academic any time from 1996 on. The article we're looking for is from 1995, so JSTOR it is.

Click on that, and a little box pops up (to the right):

You can use the citation above to fill in the blanks: Year: 1995, Volume: 13, Issue: 2, Start Page: 317. Click on GO -- hitting "Enter" won't work -- and you're there!

This concludes our little tutorial on database research. Was it as good for you as it was for me?

Question of the Week
A lot of times when I have to pick up books at the Service Desk, the person at the desk has to ask me some questions before they can get me the book I need. Why don't they just look on the shelf?
Here at the Library, we have three different kinds of shelves that exist for only one purpose: to hold books for people to pick up. You know about one -- CLS -- but the other two can be confusing for librarians without asking some questions.

The "hold" shelf is for items that you want to check out but can't right away for whatever reason. Maybe you came to the Library to check out a book, but found out you forgot your ID at home. Instead of putting the book down and hoping someone else doesn't get to it first, you can ask us to hold it for you, and then once you find your ID, you can come back and pick it up. We generally hold books for 7 days, maximum.

Bear in mind: you have to pick up the item you reserve, with your ID.

The "reserve" shelf, on the other hand, is for faculty who want to have books, movies, or other items available for their courses. Students in those courses can come in and check out those items for up to two hours in the library. There's a reason for this: we usually only have one copy of the item the instructor wants, and sometimes when we don't have it, the instructor brings in his or her own copy. All students need to have access to that item, so we put it on reserve so it's always available for them. This way, nobody needs to worry about one student checking out our only copy of Ghosts of Washington for a month, preventing other students from being able to take advantage of this resource.

In sum, the "hold" shelf is for you to check out personally; the "reserve" shelf is for your instructor -- for you to use in your course.

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