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Archive | May, 2016

Special Ed Connection: Special education resources

Special Ed ConnectionFind It

Special Ed Connection provides practitioners and researchers access to a vast array of legal, regulatory, administrative and advisory resources all centered on special education issues. Included are statutes, regulations, administrative decisions, court cases, state-specific pages, advisory tips and more. Clustered by topics and subtopics and intricately intertwined, the materials in Special Ed Connection are both browseable and searchable.

The home page contains links to the latest and most important general news and developments. Six additional topic pages do the same for specific areas of interest: Section 504, Early Childhood, Behavior & Discipline, Technology, Specific Disabilities, and Legal Research Center. The Stats/Regs link below the topic headings leads to the fundamental statutes and implementing regulations pertaining to special education.

Special features within Special Ed Connection include SmartStarts and Special Ed Roundups. SmartStarts are analyses of difficult situations involving Section 504. They include an overview of the issue and links to pertinent cases, policy letters, statutes, and so on. Special Ed Roundups provide the latest practical guidance on a number of broad topics of special interest to the busy practitioner.

The search options provide many point-and-click limiters which change based upon the category to be searched. The most complex limiting is in Interactive Search. Here the researcher can enter a search string and then select to a very granular degree where the results should come from, e.g., Federal Policy & Guidance | OCR Policy Memoranda. But more importantly, the researcher can change that selection on the fly enabling a very quick sorting by source.

Special Ed Connection is of great benefit to anyone with an interest in the legal and policy aspects of special education.

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By: Marilyn Scott, education research librarian 
Image: Creative Commons

Investext Snapshot: Insight from Top Equity Analysts

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Mergent Online now offers Investext Snapshot. You can find authoritative analysis of companies, industries and markets from analysts at the top investment banks and research firms.  This “snapshot” of Investext offers up to three reports each day on 42,000 companies and two reports for over 100 industries. Reports are available 14 days after production and are updated daily making it a great source for current insight and forecasts.

To start reading reports, look for the Investext Snapshot tab in Mergent Online. You can search by company, country, contributor (Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, more) or industry.

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By Bettina Peacemaker, assistant head, academic outreach and business research librarian

Image: NYSE, thetaxhaven, flickr, creative commons

What are “standards” and how to get them


Standards are documents detailing specifications researchers adhere to in designing new products, systems and processes in order to ensure minimum performance stipulations, safety, consistency and repeatability.

VCU Libraries can provide digital copies of standards usually within one hour of a patron making the request. This standards-on-demand program uses a vendor that supplies standards from organizations and societies including:

  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI);
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE);
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME);
  • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International);
  • International Organization for Standardization ISO.

In addition, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Digital Library and IEEE Xplore provide thousands of standards from their respective organizations, and VCU Libraries provides access to these standards without a wait.

How to request standards

Students, faculty and staff can contact Ibironke Lawal (804) 828-8739 or

By Ibironke Lawal, science and engineering collections librarian

Image: Prototype kilogram replica, Japs 88, Wikimedia Commons