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Archive | April, 2017

Collections of Distinction: Current focus areas

The “Collections of Distinction” initiative focuses on expanding and improving collections that provide crucial and unique materials for teaching, research, discovery and enjoyment.

Collections of Distinction exemplify VCU’s mission to inspire and foster creative ideas that celebrate diversity, inclusiveness and engagement on campus and beyond. Supporting established or emerging areas of research, Collections of Distinction receive funds to strengthen knowledge in the identified areas — with the goal of elevating them to national and international stature. At the fundamental level, however, they support and foster teaching, research and discovery by VCU’s faculty and students.

Current Collections of Distinction

  • Economic Botany/Medicinal Plants
  • Experimental Digital Animation
  • Forensic Science
  • Leadership Education
  • Poetry
  • Special Education and Disability Policy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Want to know more or discuss the Collections of Distinction program at VCU Libraries? Contact Karen Cary, head, Collection Analysis and Investment.

Social Work Center: Resources for clinical practice

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Social Work Reference Center supports clinical practice for social workers, nurses, allied health professionals, mental health professionals and inter-professional health care teams. Content is organized into core areas such as: Diseases and Conditions, Practices and Skills, Assessment Tools, Drugs, Patient Education, Practice Guidelines, and Current Legislation

Located within those areas are

  • Evidence-based quick lessons summarize common conditions, causes and risk factors; contraindications and precautions; assessment and care plans; desired outcomes and outcome measures; best practices and prevention.
  • Evidence-based care sheets detail the best and most current clinical data for specific diseases and conditions. All evidence is evaluated according to a seven-step methodology to ensure the best and most current evidence is presented.
  • Clinical assessment tools are designed for assessing a client through devices used for measuring a given phenomenon (e.g., pain or coping). These can include interviewing, research tools, a questionnaire or a set of guidelines for observation.

Social Work Reference Center also provides access to free continuing education modules that offer CE credits online. Each module includes course material, an interactive review and a competency test along with a certificate of successful completion. New VCU users can pre-register online.

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By Nita Bryant, behavioral and social sciences research librarian

Image: Generations by Christopher Michel

Social Explorer: Current and historical demographic data

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Social Explorer provides quick and easy access to current and historical demographic data. Easy-to-use online tools help users create custom maps and reports to visualize, explore and understand the patterns behind the numbers. The latest version offers new ways to explore and present data from 1790 to the present, from U.S. neighborhoods to across the globe. Users can access more than 220 years of census data with tens of thousands of maps, hundreds of reports, over 400,000 variables and 40 billion data elements.

The core data library includes U.S. Census data from 1790 to 2010 and American Community Survey data from 2005 to 2014. Users can examine this wealth of demographic information at the national, state, county, census tract, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and block group geographic levels (where available).

Specialized U.S. data resources include the FBI Uniform Crime Report data (2010 and 2012), American election results (1912 to 2014), Religious Congregations and Membership Study (1980 to 2010), Vulcan Project carbon emissions data (2002), and County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Program data (2010 to 2016).

International data resources include the United Kingdom Census (2011), Canadian Census (2011), Eurostat (1990, 2000, 2010 to 2013), World Development Indicators (2013), and Irish religion and population data (1911 to 2001).

Users can create detailed data reports with the Reporting Tools. Export one or thousands of variables and geographies quickly and easily. Excel, CSV, and other file formatting shortcuts allow you to work with data in a variety of software programs for further analysis.

Users are encouraged to create an account so that they are able to save their work and access it for later use.

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by Patricia Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian

Mapping data and checking facts

Electronic mapping resources are fast becoming an important tool for researchers to visually communicate their scholarship. More and more VCU research projects 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 of 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

by Business and Public Affairs Collections Librarian Patricia Sobczak

Uniworld Online: The world of multinational companies

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Uniworld Online is a searchable database that covers multinational companies with headquarters in over 200 countries and 20,000 industries. It provides contact information for headquarters, subsidiaries, branches and executives of multinational firms. Search by keyword, parent company name, subsidiary name, “division of” name, product description or by descriptive word. It is more comprehensive and more accessible than any other international business contact product.

Uniworld Online can be used for business research, career research and is a useful resource for academic career centers. It includes company information and key employees, job hunting information as well as research for those interested in study abroad programs. It also has access to research on careers, employment opportunities, economic research and tracking trends. Both public and private company information is included. It also covers all of the BRIC countries.

A Uniworld Online User Guide is available to get familiar with all of the capabilities of the resource.

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by Patricia Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian

 

Passport GMID: Global market information database

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Research global markets with Passport GMID.  From Euromonitor, a business intelligence company with more than 40 years of experience analyzing developed and emerging markets, Passport GMID provides in-depth analysis, statistics, surveys, and news for industries, consumer markets, and business environments all over the world. Find company and brand shares of leading companies; use dashboards and data to identify potential markets; and read full text market research reports for over 20 consumer product and services categories.

Passport Industrial research examines the industrial makeup of the 68 largest economies in the world. Each economy is broken down into 177 industries, providing cross country comparable data and analysis. Passport Industrial is our first major research effort of B2B markets. Data points include production, profitability, imports, exports, buyers, suppliers, etc. Reports are modeled after Porter’s Five Forces. In the near future, Euromonitor will be expanding its Industrial research to 20 additional countries. The added coverage will be a deeper extension of the current and well-received  Markets of the Future (MOTF) reports. The addition of these countries will bring Euromonitor’s premier research coverage to 98% of Global GDP and 91% of Global Population.

Passport Cities provides fully comparable data and in-depth analysis on 1,150 of the world’s largest cities. There are detailed reviews of 120 of the world’s major metropolitan areas. Datagraphics, opinion 1 pieces, and dashboards are also prominently featured.

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By Patricia Sobczak, business and public affairs collections librarian

Image: Creative Commons