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Archive | October, 2015

Knovel Library: Engineering research resources

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Knovel Library provides users  with technical information in engineering and applied science.

Information comes from books, conference proceedings, databases and other materials from more than 100 sources.

Interactive tables and graphs display data in clear ways.  Users can download materials in a PDF or an Excel spreadsheet.

Knovel also contains a feature called interactive equations, which solve various problems in the field of chemistry, engineering and more. Users can use and save sample equations or enter ones of their own for Knovel to solve.

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By Katlyn Pierre, public relations intern. For more information about this resource or others

Image: Creative Commons

Directory of Published Proceedings: Paper database

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The Directory of Published Proceedings offers users access to research papers from all over the world. The site provides categories, ranging from science and technology to economics and finance.

Use the Directory of Published Proceedings to find articles on pollution control and ecology or science and technology. There are articles like “Energy, Power & Facility Management Strategies & Technologies 2014-2015” from the United States or “A Real-Time Testbed for Routing Network” from Bulgaria.

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By Katlyn Pierre, public relations intern. For more information about this resource or others 

Image: Creative Commons

Berg Fashion Library: World fashion index

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Fashion lovers everywhere can be in-tune with fashion statements throughout history with the Berg Fashion Library.

The resource provides integrated text and image content from the 1600s to today in the form of e-books, reference works and more. It provides in-depth information on various bodies, garments and styles of fashion. The database also allows users to be matched with references and articles.

Browse through various dress, individuals and textiles throughout history. Berg Fashion Library allows users to get matched with scholarly fashion articles on everything from “Afro Hairstyle” to “The Fabric of Fabrication.” Get lost in the world of silks and calico while browsing through the site. Whether one’s interest is new world or old school, Berg has options. Discover how Tibet influences fashion in  “Archaeological Evidence: Tibet” or turn up hundreds of hits on Christian Dior.

Berg Fashion Library allows users to explore by time and place. Search for fashion from Oceania to Central America. There are articles about some of the iconic fashion items in the world from the sari to the kimono.

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By Katlyn Pierre, public relations intern. For more information about this resource or others

Image: Berg Fashion Library

Blackbird: Online literature and arts journal

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Blackbird: An Online Journal of Literature and the Arts  contains poetry, fiction, nonfiction and art.

Get lost in the works of Joshua Bennett, David Wojahn and Louis Draper. Blackbird connects users to various works of art, but it gives users in-depth information on the writer. In some instances, it gives “Blackbird’s Notes” in which users can glean background information on the work. Users are also given the option to read reviews of particular works.

Discover works of art in galleries from people like, Sarah Eckhardt and Tony Langston. Blackbird offers scholarly looks into literary and artistic works for users to go through.

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By Katlyn Pierre, public relations intern. For more information about this resource or others 

Image: Clay Bodies, Blackbird

iPOLL: Comprehensive U.S. data from 1935 to today

iPoll (2)

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Drawn from every major polling organization in the United States, iPOLL offers comprehensive and up-to-date national and some international public opinion poll data. With more than 650,000 questions and answers dating to 1935, users can find public opinions on a variety of topics.

The database offers useful search features, including keyword, topic, organization and dates and also searching within a set of question results. iPOLL contains polling data on public policy issues ranging from elections to social security to religious status.

Special note may be made of the Topics at a Glance feature. Users may choose from a variety of topics found in the headlines, utilizing the pre-populated datasets, charts and issue briefs to get a quick overview of public opinion.

iPool is managed by The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, currently located at the University of Connecticut. According to its website: “It is one of the world’s leading archives of social science data, specializing in data from public opinion surveys. The Center’s mission is to collect, preserve, and disseminate public opinion data; to serve as a resource to help improve the practice of survey research; and to broaden the understanding of public opinion through the use of survey data in the United States and abroad. Founded in 1947, the Roper Center holds data ranging from the 1930s, when survey research was in its infancy, to the present. Its collection now includes over 22,000 datasets and adds hundreds more each year. In total, the archive contains responses from millions of individuals on a vast range of topics. …  The Roper Center has a strong presence in the public opinion community and maintains cooperative relationships with other archives around the world. Its Board of Directors contains representatives from both academic and commercial public opinion research.”

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Image: Creative Commons

by Nia Rodgers

Grey Literature: Resources beyond the library

“Public policy work increasingly relies on a wide range of resources — some are traditional scholarly publications, but the majority are ‘grey literature’. Reports, discussion papers, briefings, reviews and data sets produced by government, academic centres, NGOs, think tanks and companies are heavily used and highly valued in policy and practice work, forming a key part of the evidence base” (Lawrence, Houghton, Thomas & Weldon, 2014, p. 3).

Grey literature is academic work that is not published by commercial publishers. Examples include fact sheets, pre-prints, white papers, proceedings, patents, standards, newsletters, patents, bulletins, symposia, some surveys, some maps, and scholarly materials published in open access journals. With the rise of the internet, self-publishing has brought grey literature to researchers all over the world in a more timely fashion than traditional publishing. See this paper for more discussion on the value of grey literature: Find It

With the increase of electronic publishing opportunities, digitization efforts and emerging technologies, grey literature is now more available and more in demand by growing user communities.

by Nia Rodgers

Image: Grey Literature

Services Highlight: Interlibrary Loan

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When a book or article is not available at VCU Libraries,  students and faculty can request items through Interlibrary Loan. Through this system, VCU Libraries will deliver print materials to graduate and undergraduate students at the library of their choice (James Branch Cabell or Tompkins-McCaw) or electronic articles via email.

The libraries will also deliver materials to faculty and staff to their campus offices.

Request materials through ILLiad, our interlibrary loan and delivery service and materials will be delivered within a few days.

Nonprofit Studies: Library research resources

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People interested in careers in the nonprofit sector can pursue a degree or certificate at the undergraduate or graduate level through the Wilder School’s Nonprofit Studies Programs. These programs support the development of current and future executives, boards, staff and volunteers to become collaborative, thoughtful and ethical leaders in this growing field.

In support of the nonprofit studies curriculum, VCU Libraries offers a robust collection of books, ebooks, journals and electronic resources. An overview of these resources is listed below:

by Business and Public Affairs Collections Librarian Patricia Sobczak

 

British Periodicals: Hundreds of 17th-20th century titles

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VCU Libraries expanded its British Periodicals series with the acquisition of British Periodicals I and III. This series consists of facsimile page images and searchable text for nearly 500 periodicals published between the 17th and 20th centuries. Topics covered include politics, science, history, literary and creative arts, archaeology and popular culture.

British Periodicals I is the foundation of the series, some 160 journals that comprised the Early British Periodicals microfilm collection. This collection covers topics such as politics, science, history, literary and creative arts, archaeology and popular culture. Titles in this series include the Athenaeum, the Scottish Review and the London Journal.

British Periodicals III extends the scope of the series into the first half of the 20th century. This collection contains illustrated periodicals known as the “Great Eight” in British publishing. These popular periodicals covered news, art, photography and literature of the era. Titles in this series include Britannia and Eve, The Sketch, and The Tatler. Images are in full color when present in the original.

These additions join British Periodicals II, a collection dedicated to the arts, in VCU Libraries electronic resources. Material from these collections is available to download either as PDFs or JPEG images.

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By Emily Davis Winthrop, arts collections librarian

Image: Graphic The Tatler; Jul 9, 1930; 117, 1515; British Periodicals pg. 75

Collections Profile: Kevin Farley

Kevin FarleyCollection librarians advise on acquisitions and materials to support teaching and research as well as new course and degree development.
Humanities Collections Librarian Kevin Farley serves the VCU Department of Music.

Schools and Departments Served: African-American Studies, English, History, World Studies (including Philosophy, Religious Studies, and world languages), MATX, Music

Expertise/education:

  • Ph.D., English, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • MLS, Library Science, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • MA, English, Kent State University
  • BA, English, Old Dominion University

Areas of Interest

  • The future of humanities publishing
  • Cultural theory
  • Digital Humanities
  • Shakespeare
  • World literature and translation studies
  • Poetry and poetics
  • Film studies and experimental film
  • Music history

What do you like most about what you do?

Collections are at the forefront of tremendous changes underway in academic libraries, reflecting the transformations taking place in how disciplines are taught, studied and practiced. This is challenging but also very exciting, and with the increasing role of digital collections, it’s possible to see researchers find connections that are now often more visible than ever before. The variety of ways of thinking about oneself and the world that is the foundation of doing the humanities has been my lifelong fascination. Creation in the humanities is especially vibrant at VCU. Contemporary humanities are diverse, inclusive and internationalist in thinking and approach, and to be part of that is fulfilling both professionally and personally.

What currently has your attention?

At work, the shift into digital environments for media access, and ways to provide dynamic and wide-ranging streaming access to the VCU community. At home, the intricacies of the classical guitar, which I am determined to learn.

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Collection librarians like Farley work in collaboration with outreach librarians, who support research, curricular and information literacy. More about other outreach librarians for the arts: Creative Catalysts: VCU’s arts librarians

Map It: Tools for research in the Wilder School

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Electronic mapping resources are fast becoming an important tool for researchers to visually communicate their scholarship. More and more VCU courses require the visualization of data to supplement academic efforts in effective and powerful ways. For example, while you can explain the concept of food deserts, having a way to visually show the large geographic areas that do not have access to a grocery store, paints a much more graphic reality. Or, when a nonprofit needs a list zip codes that meet a certain criteria for potential donors, looking at that data on an interactive map, enables you to change the data and make adjustments to better focus on exactly the areas you need to cover.

VCU Libraries has several mapping resources for a range of skill levels:

  • SimplyMap allows you to create thematic maps and reports using extensive demographic, business and marketing data. SimplyMap has all the data you need to answer key research questions, make sound business decisions and understand the socio-demographic and economic conditions of any geographic area in the United States. It offers more than 75,000 data variables related to demographics, employment, housing, market segments, businesses, consumer spending, brand preferences and public health. Find It
  • VCU Libraries owns many spatial and numeric data sets, most of which are produced by the Federal government. Use the VCU Libraries Search to search the collection, or browse a list of data collections.  Find It

To learn more about mapping resources and geographic information systems, the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs offers a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Also, as part of the Virginia higher education site license for ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute), VCU students, faculty and staff have free access to GIS courses offered via the ESRI Virtual Campus. For more information  and to register, please see the following:

by Business and Public Affairs Collections Librarian Patricia Sobczak