Category Archives: Databases/Electronic Article Access

Printing from the Electronic Theses and Dissertations database

HELLO I print copies of abstracts archived in the Library’s EDT system and use them to confirm dissertation tiles inserted into the SOP graduation bulletin. I thought the EDT screen page had a “printer friendly” icon on the page last semester. When I print copies of the abstract now, I get a print outs that show the abstract title twice in bold print. I tried two other printers in our office and they also print out as you see them. Has any other Dept. contacted your office about how abstracts print out? Is there a way to get a “printer friendly” icon placed on page so that abstracts print uniformly. I have copies of the finished product and can send them to you if you would like to review them. Thanks for considering this request. Page where “printer friendly” ICON would be helpful:

From a staff member

Jimmy Gaphery, Head of Library Information Systems replies…

Thank you for the great suggestion. The print display for the Electronic Theses and Dissertations did indeed need improvement. We have made some adjustments to improve the print display to eliminate the duplicate titles and some of the other extraneous information that was displaying. For most abstracts the printed version should now be contained neatly on a single page.

Electronic Access to Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology

Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology is book series by Springer and this is series very useful for researches. Its my kind request to make some arrangement so that VCU people can download the full text.

From: a staff member

Lynne Turman, Head of Tompkins-McCaw Library Collections, replies…

Thank you for the suggestion. According to the publisher, the online version of this book series is not available to purchase individually. It is part of a larger package of e-books from Springer. VCU Libraries is interested in obtaining the Springer collection but the cost is over $200,000 for one imprint year. We will continue to try and negotiate more favorable pricing. Thank you again for taking the time to contact us with your comment.

BMC Subscription Service

I recalled that i got an email from VCU Library several months ago that our university would have a downgraded BMC subscription services. Then, i sent an email to BCM to express the concern of this downgrade service. As a regular readers, authors of multiple papers published in BMC and also regular reviewers for BMC series, i was very disappointed after i found last week that i have to pay around $2000 for publishing a paper in BMC Genetics and to pay more than $2000 for a paper in Genome Biology, both belonging to BMC. I guess other VCU researchers may also struggle with this new VCU membership. If possible, can you please reconsider a regular membership? This will benefit greatly many VCU researchers who may submit papers to BMC.
Thanks for your consideration.
From: a faculty member

Lynne U. Turman, Head, Tompkins-McCaw Library Collections, replies…
Thank you for contacting us and sharing your comments. VCU Libraries joined BioMed Central (BMC) as an Institutional Member in 2003. As one of the early experiments in alternative forms of scholarly publishing, we felt it was important to support it. Then in 2006, BMC announced changes in its pricing structure and Institutional Members started being charged the Article Processing Fees for all articles authored by their faculty. VCU Libraries continued its Institutional membership for another year to see what the changes would mean to our budget. During this year, our costs increased by 102%. Like many other academic research libraries, we were forced to re-examine our membership level because of the impact of these rising costs on our ability to support other journal subscriptions. Since there was no longer a cap on our costs, remaining an Institutional Member was equivalent to writing BMC a blank check. In addition, the VCU Libraries has little ability to absorb cost increases of this magnitude, since it has a relatively small budget for subscriptions when compared to other research institutions.

After careful consideration, VCU Libraries changed to the Supporters membership level which gives VCU authors a 15% discount on the Article Processing Fees. We recognize that this means VCU authors must absorb more costs to publish in BMC journals, which we deeply regret. However, we feel that BMC’s “dynamic charge” business model can not be supported with our relatively small funding base.

Thank you again for sending us your comments and please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions about our membership in BioMed Central.

Suggested Database

I’m currently an undergrad student majoring in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. There is a resource available called the Terrorism Research Center, that provides a variety of information and analysis of terrorist groups, events, and other homeland security-related issues. I think that this would be an excellent resource for both HSEP and Political Science students, and request that you look into an academic site license for this service. More information is available online.
From: Tom, undergraduate student

Serena Haroian, Collection Librarian for Business and Public Affairs, responds…
Thank you for the suggestion to consider a subscription to the Terrorism Research Center services. While the Center caters primarily to corporate, military, and government agency clients, they are increasingly aware of the value of their content to the academic community. To this end, they have created an academic product and site license that allows access to the Center’s Knowledge Database. The database provides access to TRC analyst reports, country and terrorist profiles, and weekly intelligence reports. New content is added to the database within 24 to 48 hours of real-time publication.

As with any new resource, we must carefully consider its content, cost, and accessibility. During an informative conversation with a representative from the TRC, he admitted that the price is generally too steep for most academic library budgets. Indeed, the price is quite high and due to budget restraints, VCU Libraries cannot purchase a subscription at this time. Still, we are excited to learn about Terrorism Research Center and will list it for further consideration.

The library has been vigilant in acquiring resources to support the emerging Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness programs. Please consult the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Resource Guide for journals, reference works, government documents, databases and more.

Accessing UpToDate

It is really sad that the access to Uptodate through proxy server is no more available. Uptodate is a premier resource for every physician and lots of time we need to review material for challenging patients even when away from hospital to help us serve patients better. I was really proud of VCU to have provided this service earlier and be among the best in the league. We want this service to be resotred for the overall benefit of patients with the latest and most desirable approach in the field.
From: a staff member

Lynne Turman, Head of TML Collections, responds….
Dr. Puri —

Thank you for contacting us with your comments about UpToDate. This resource is provided by the VCU Health System rather than the University or VCU Libraries. Remote access was offered as a part of the service during the initial years of the contract but with the recent renewal of the subscription, access is limited to on-site computers at the MCV Hospitals and University. This has become commonplace among academic health centers that subscribe to UpToDate.

VCU Libraries offers several other products that should prove to be good alternates for off-campus use:
— FirstConsult is a clinical point-of-care system similar to UpToDate. It has information on medical conditions and treatment, drug information, patient handouts and can be downloaded to a PDA. For more details, check our announcement about FirstConsult.
— MDConsult and StatRef contain full-text versions of medical, dental and nursing textbooks that are searchable by keyword or topic. Titles include Cecil’s Textbook of Medicine, Conn’s Current Therapy, Griffith’s 5-Minute Consult, Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine and many others.
— For drug information, try searching in Mosby’s Drug Consult, a part of MDConsult. Also, StatRef has the full-text of several drug reference tools. Another source is Epocrates. You have to register first in order to use their free online drug reference tool.

If you need assistance with any of these resources or would like to discuss other options, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 804-828-0638 or We strive to provide you with the most appropriate databases and collections for your information needs and are always open to suggestions for new products.

Electronic Source Suggestion

I would like to suggest The Internet Library for Nurses for inclusion into your links. It is located at
From: Friend of the Library

Lynne U. Turman, Head, Tompkins-McCaw Library Collections, replies….
Thank you for the suggestion to include this site as a link from the VCU Libraries web pages. One of the ways we assist users in finding information is through Research and Topic Guides – . These subject-based guides are developed by library staff with knowledge and expertise in a particular discipline. Web sites included in the guides are evaluated for accuracy, currency, style, sponsorship, and appropriateness for our primary clientele, the University community. Your site will be considered and reviewed for possible inclusion at the next revision of the Nursing Resources Guide –

Requesting Electronic Databases

Would it be possible to subscribe to Stratfor? Stratfor is the private sectors version of the CIA and provide crucial information. I have had to use the information they provide in currently three separate reports and also at work. As a plus they offer huge discounts to education institutions. Thank you for your consideration.
From: George, undergraduate student

Serena Haroian, Collection Librarian for Business and Public Services, responds…..
Thank you for your suggestion. The goal of the library is to carefully build and manage substantive information resource collections that serve the University’s varied academic programs. Many factors must be considered in the decision to subscribe to a database including relevance to the curriculum, reputation, accessibility, and cost. Because of budget limitations, we are not able to subscribe to all resources that students and faculty suggest. Still, we strongly encourage suggestions for resources from students, faculty, and researchers. Please see our Libraries Item Purchase Request form.

Mammalian Genome journal needed

Our lab recently published an article in the journal Mammalian Genome ;
however, we do not have university access to this journal through the Springer site, even though we have access to most other Springer publications. Could you please consider subscribing to this journal? Additionally, I have had to request two articles this year from the same journal through ILLIAD. Perhaps we could subscribe just to the online version?
From: Kathryn

Thank you for the suggestion to add Mammalian Genome to the VCU Libraries journal collections. We welcome and actively solicit suggestions from VCU faculty and students for enhancements to our collections.

Many factors go into the decision to subscribe to a particular journal title, including reputation, journal impact factor, cost, relevance to our curriculum, etc. Because of budget limitations, we are not able to subscribe to all journals in a specific subject area or all journals from a particular publisher. The cost for a subscription to Mammalian Genome is almost $1200 this year.

We will place this title into consideration for new journals in the future, depending on budget allocations. In the meantime, please continue to take advantage of the ILLiad service to obtain copies of needed articles. If we can be of further assistance to you in identifying similar titles already in our collections, please contact us.

Lynne U. Turman, Head, TML Collections
Tompkins-McCaw Library, VCU Libraries

Articles wanted online

Okay may I ask why VCU has articles listed in psyche info but the school doesn’t have them. You guys think you could just only put the articles that we have access to via online. Some of us do our work from the comfort of our home.

It is safe to say that none of the hundreds of university libraries that uses PsycINFO owns all the journals indexed in it. PsycINFO contains more than 2 million citations and summaries of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations, all in psychology and related disciplines, dating as far back as the 1800s. Ninety-seven percent of the covered material is peer-reviewed. Journal coverage, which spans 1887 to present, includes international material selected from nearly 2,000 periodicals in more than 25 languages.

Below each PsycINFO entry is a yellow “Get it at VCU” button that when clicked, will search to find if we own the journal containing that listed article. For a brief two-minute introduction to the Get It at VCU tool, see this online demo.

If you don’t mind searching in a smaller pool of articles, but one that offers complete full-text, you might want to try the PsycARTICLES database. PsycARTICLES is a source of searchable full-text, peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in psychology. The database contains more than 40,000 articles from 53 journals – 45 published by the American Psychological Association (APA) and 8 from allied organizations. It includes all journal articles, letters to the editor and errata from each journal. Coverage spans 1985 to present.

For articles we don’t own, we will get them for you from another library without charge if you request any needed article via our ILLIAD system.

Most importantly, if ever unsure how to find the full-text of a needed article, contact our Research & Reference desk staff by e-mail, chat, in person, or by phone at 828-1101 or toll-free at 1-866-VCU-BOOK.

— Dan Ream, Head, Education & Outreach Services, James Branch Cabell Library

Login for off-campus database access

I am finding it nearly impossible to find the login page for the off campus access to the libraries. I keep getting information on HOW to connect, but it never shows WHERE to go to connect. It would be nice if in the “Connect from Home” page there would be a link to actually connect. I have been looking around the library website for about 15 minutes now and can still not find the site to login!
From: Melissa

Tompkins-McCaw Library Reference Librarian Barbara Wright replies…

Dear Melissa,

We’re sorry for any confusion. VCU Libraries provides anyone remote access to some resources, such as its catalog and some government databases, which do not require a special login. However, many resources – online databases, books, and journals – have licenses that restrict their use to VCU students, faculty, and staff. These resources require the special VCU login.

So…how do you know which resources require the VCU login?

Actually, you don’t have to know – the VCU Libraries’ web site is set up so that if you are off-campus and try to access a VCU-restricted resource, you will automatically be prompted for your remote login. The VCU Libraries remote login page will appear, and you will be prompted to login with your username and password. Your username is the last 10 digits of your VCU Card, and your password is the last 4 digits of your SSN.

You only have to do this once per session. When you log off your current online session, the system forgets your user name and password, so the authentication box will appear again when you reconnect and try to connect to a library resource.

As an example, go to the VCU Libraries home page ( Click on the VCU Libraries QuickLinks menu in the upper right corner, and select “InfoTrac OneFile.” Then click “Go.” You should be prompted for the EZProxy remote login, and once you have signed in you should be able to get to all of our resources.

Hope this helps with the confusion!