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The Emerging Sources Citation Index: Discover trending research

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Logo: Emerging Sources Citation Index from Clarivate AnalyticsThe Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) was added to the Web of Science (WoS) platform to deepen and expand the subject coverage of WoS’ Core Collection, including in the humanities and social sciences. The peer-reviewed publications curated for this index are selected partly for their emerging research content, international scope and regional importance. They all must pass a rigorous editorial evaluation. Many of its journals are further evaluated for inclusion in WoS’ other indexes, but initial inclusion in ESCI allows the contents to be searched in WoS prior to an exhaustive review, which takes far more time to complete.

For VCU researchers, the addition of ESCI means extended coverage in their WoS searches and an enhanced ability to identify global collaboration opportunities in trending areas. It provides early career researchers with increased exposure as well, since they are more likely to publish in less established journals. And even though ESCI journals are not given impact factors, because they are included in WoS citation counts, they may provide a boost to faculty’s h-index scores when they go up for promotion and tenure.

VCU Libraries’ recent purchase of the ESCI backfile gives VCU researchers full access to ESCI from 2005 to the present. This backfile includes more than 5,600 journals, with 71 percent of content from outside of North America and 54 percent of records new to the Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities content. With 46 percent of journals not indexed by WoS’s competitors, the full ESCI package offers VCU researchers a quality, interdisciplinary option for discovering global and specialized trends in research.

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By Ibironke Lawal, Engineering and Science Collections Librarian, and Karen Gau, Health Sciences Collection Librarian

Image from Clarivate Analytics.

By JoVE, we’ve got the Journal of Visualized Experiments

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JoVE logo

JoVE, Journal of Visualized Experiments, is a set of video “journals” demonstrating research protocols and methods. JoVE videos typically show the techniques demonstrated by researchers in their labs and have high production quality.

The videos can be used to help train new members of a lab group on a technique. The videos also can be used to better understand the methods used in a research article. For some techniques, the videos can be used to demonstrate what students will be doing in the laboratory portion of a class.

JoVE has sets of videos in different areas that they sell as separate subject journals within their collection. JoVE journals include chemistry, engineering, and a variety of areas within biology from biochemistry to environment to neuroscience.

For several years, VCU Libraries has held a small number of journals within the JoVE collection. This year, VCU Libraries all of JoVE’s videos. Anyone teaching a scientific research technique could save time by first checking JoVE to see if it has a video on the topic.

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By Julie Arendt, science and engineering research librarian

Embase: Broaden your biomedical and pharmacological research

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Embase is now available at VCU. VCU Libraries recommends users turn to this vast biomedical and pharmacological research database as a companion to PubMed/MEDLINE because of its broad international research scope.

This deep resource draws on publications from more than 90 countries. Embase provides access to 30 million abstracts and citations from more than 8,500 peer-reviewed journals (1974 forward) and nearly 2 million conference abstracts (2009 forward). Additionally, this database offers in excess of 6 million records and 2,900 journals not included in MEDLINE. It includes full-text indexing of drug, disease and medical device data as well.

Embase also features Emtree, a taxonomy designed for complete and precise information retrieval. More than twice as large as the MEDLINE MeSH thesaurus, Emtree includes thousands of terms for medical devices and general medical procedures. All MeSH terms are linked to Emtree terms, allowing for consistent searching of the Embase biomedical database.

This resource is recommended for use in systematic reviews as well as pharmacovigilance/drug therapy and medical device information.

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By: K.J. Ricasata, TML Stacks Supervisor, and Brandon Burneson, Research and Education Assistant

Image: Embase on Ovid

After National Guideline Clearinghouse shutdown: Use these library resources

Due to a loss in federal funding, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s National Guideline Clearinghouse was shut down on July 16, 2018. To continue accessing current, evidence-based clinical guidelines, VCU Libraries’ users can tap the following resources.

  • PubMed (1-minute video tutorial)
    • Conduct a search for a condition (e.g. diabetes).
    • To the left of your search results, click on Customize under the Article Types section.
    • Select Practice Guideline and click on Show.
    • Click on the Practice Guideline option that is now displaying under Article Types.
  • CINAHL (1-minute video tutorial)
    • Conduct a search for a condition (e.g. diabetes).
    • To the left of your search results, click on “Show More” under the Limit To section.
    • Select Practice Guidelines under Publication Type and click on Search.
  • ClinicalKey
    • To the left of the search bar, change All Types to Guidelines.
    • Enter your search terms for a condition (e.g. diabetes).
    • Click on the orange Search icon (magnifying glass) or hit the Return/Enter key on your keyboard.
  • Trip Medical Database
    • Conduct a search for a condition (e.g. diabetes).
    • Select the Guidelines filter to the right of your search results.
  • UpToDate
    • Conduct a search for a condition (e.g. diabetes).
    • Select a monograph to view (e.g. Overview of medical care in adults with diabetes mellitus).
    • Scroll down the Topic Outline on the left-hand side and select Society Guideline Links.
  • Guideline Central – Free access to current clinical practice guidelines and guideline summaries.

Practice guidelines are also available through professional organizations’ websites (e.g. AHA, AORN), although in some cases, this will require membership for access. If you do not have membership and can find specific information for the guideline (e.g. title, year, ISBN, URL, etc.) you can try requesting the item through VCU Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service.

If you have any additional questions about accessing guidelines, please contact your liaison librarian.

This content is based on Brandi Tuttle’s post at Duke University’s Medical Center Library & Archives and used with permission. 

Merck Index Online: for research and everyday

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Merck Index Online is an authoritative source of information on chemicals, drugs and biologicals. You an search or browse its more than 11,000 monographs (chemical compounds) that can be explored for research and everyday practical purposes. Ideal for quick searches to reveal the properties of compounds and biologicals, Merck Index Online provides identifiers such as CAS Registry Number and structure. It also gives the molecular formula, molecular weight and melting point as well as Trademark names.

Structure search is simplified by the ‘convert’ feature, which allows for inserting a compound name and then converting it to a structure to enable a substructure or exact structure search. It has more than 500 organic named reactions (ONR) which have been recognized and referred to by name within the chemistry community, for example, the Ehrlich-Sachs Reaction (1899). Attached to each ONR are relevant references including that of the original description. All references are from scholarly journals, encyclopedias and handbooks. Apart from properties, all records have appropriate sections that describe them, depending on the type of compound. One example is the “Therapeutic Category” under Classifications, which is useful for identifying uses of compounds and their derivatives in healing, re: Glybuzole – Trademark name – Gludiase as an antidiabetic. The database is further enhanced by its 28 reference tables.

Merck Index Online is valuable to researchers, faculty and students in basic science, chemistry, pharmacy, chemical and life science engineering, biomedical sciences, dentistry, allied health, and medicine. It is also useful for everyday practical purposes such as information on additives or components, nutrients, minerals, and proteins. For example, get all the information for the cooking spice, nutmeg, its uses in flavoring food and beverages, nutmeg oil as a fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, perfumes, and candles.

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By Ibironke Lawal, engineering and science collections librarian

Image: First issue, titled Merck’s Index

MathSciNet: New features expand ease-of-use

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MathSciNet, the primary databases for mathematical sciences literature, offers some new features.

  • Search results can now be sorted by publication date, journal title or number of citations.
  • New facets allow users to filter and refine results by item type, author, institution, journal, date and primary classification.

The AMS has announced that more upgrades are on their way, including search alerts. When this feature arrives, users will be able to get notifications about author citation counts, new issues and new results to saved searches.

For complete details about the changes

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By Martha Roseberry, science and engineering research librarian

Image: E8 Petrie projection by Jgmoxness

Engineering Village: New Numeric Search

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Engineering Village now offers a tool to display only those results that contain measurements at a specific value or range in their titles or abstracts.

If you’re looking for a measurement in nanometers, the numeric search will automatically convert units and recognize the same values, even if the abstract expresses units in Angstroms, microns, meters, or some other unit of length. For example, if you are interested in high-temperature superconductors, you can specify exactly what temperature to exceed.

To use the numeric search, first perform a search in Engineering Village, then open the numeric filter bar on the left-hand side of the results to enter the numbers and units.

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By Julie Arendt, science and engineering research librarian

Image: Pay, Numbers, Infinity, Digits by geralt

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

BCC Research: Global market intelligence

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Research global markets with current and in depth market intelligence. Reports include forecasts, statistical data, major players, market share and more. BCC Research covers 20 industries with a focus on science and technology:

  • Advanced Materials
  • Advanced Transportation Technologies
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemicals
  • Energy and Resources
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Food And Beverage
  • Fuel Cell and Battery Technologies
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology
  • Instrumentation and Sensors
  • Manufacturing
  • Membrane and Separation Technology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Photonics
  • Plastics
  • Safety and Security
  • Semiconductor Manufacturing

Under each broad category, individual reports explore specific areas. For example, Food and Beverage includes reports on intelligent packaging, high energy supplements, organic food and food safety. Healthcare includes cancer testing and treatment technology, self-monitoring, medical devices and information technology. These are just a few examples of the full text reports available through BCC Research. Subscribe to their blog for up to date news and more market insight.

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

Image: 1492, ptwo, flickr, Creative Commons

Engineering Research Database: Technological advancement

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The Engineering Research Database connects users with 11 different engineering databases and some 100,000 new records each year. There are more than 3,500 periodicals, conference proceedings, technical reports, trade journals, patents, books and press releases that the information is taken from. These databases contain information on civil engineering, biotechnology and much more. It contains subjects on aircraft design, magnetic levitation railways and many others to discover.

Information provided dates back to 1966. The platform tracks your recent searches and selected documents.

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

Image: Creative Commons

Engineering Village: Research in engineering and physics

Find ItFestival_automobile_international_2012_-_Zero_Engineering_Type_5_-_020 (1)

Engineering Village is the
major database platform VCU Libraries provides for locating research papers in engineering. Something for nearly every conceivable engineering research topic, no matter how obscure, can be found there.

At VCU, Engineering Village has three science and engineering databases with less memorable names:

Ei Compendex

  • Broad and deep indexing of engineering
  • International scope, including papers in languages other than English
  • Includes conference presentations, not just journal articles
  • Built from the Engineering Index, with content going back to the 1874,  Ei Compendex is useful for locating primary sources in the history of technology
  • About 25,000 records added to it per week or 1.25 million per year


  • Physics plus engineering and computer science sources
  • Deep indexing


  • Reports from federally-funded research submitted to the National Technical Information Service
  • Saves the extra step of going to the NTIS site to search for them
  • Engineering Village gives a full-text link that connects to the NTIS site to order the reports there. Once a report is found in Engineering Village, it usually is less expensive to type in the title of a report into a search engine and access a free copy of the report on the agency’s site or to use interlibrary loan to get a copy via VCU Libraries.

By default, Engineering Village searches all three of these databases, but the databases can be searched individually by changing the check marks on the search screen.

The search box in Engineering Village uses the “controlled terms” from Ei Compendex to offer suggestions for what terminology to use. For exampling, if “fracking” is typed into the search box, it will suggest searching for “hydraulic fracturing.” By using this suggestion, Ei Compendex will retrieve all of the results it has tagged as being about hydraulic fracturing, regardless of whether the authors used that phrase or just the word “fracking.” Engineering Village also displays these controlled terms on the left side of the results screen. This is a valuable shortcut for narrowing results to a precise topic and a way to discover the vocabulary of a subject area.

Because the three databases in Engineering Village are indexing only databases, Engineering Village does not include complete articles. The easiest way to get to full-text papers is to use the Get it @ VCU button to connect back to VCU Libraries. For the articles, conference papers and reports that VCU Libraries doesn’t have, the library can still get them for VCU students, faculty and staff via Interlibrary Loan.

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By Julie Arendt, science and engineering research librarian 

Image: Zero Engineering Type 5, Thesupermat, Wikimedia Commons

Institute of Physics: Access to journals and books expanded

propeller-style graphic

The Institute of Physics (IOP) is a scientific nonprofit society with its roots going back to the Physical Society of London in 1874. IOP’s publishing division produces journals such as Journal of Physics and magazines such as Physics World.

In the fall 2015, VCU Libraries updated its subscriptions with IOP to the IOPscience package and platform. IOPscience includes a combination of journals and ebooks in physics and related fields. In addition to the IOP journals already in the collection, VCU Libraries has access to new journals, including

IOPscience includes a historic archive with perpetual access to 65 years of journal content. Most of these materials used to be available at VCU Libraries only in print. Also included in IOPscience are the eBook packages IOP Concise Physics and IOP Expanding Physics.

IOPscience comes to VCU courtesy of the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA). VIVA works for higher education institutions across the commonwealth to obtain resources that are shared by member libraries. By sharing resources among libraries, VIVA helps VCU Libraries and other Virginia libraries get good value for their library investments.

By Ibironke Lawal, engineering and science collections librarian

Image from New Journal of Physics wallpapers

Manuscript Matcher suggests where to submit

articles in different journals

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When deciding where to submit their research for publication, most faculty use the topic, audience and reputation of the journal as their main criteria. Subjective judgment and advice on how to choose can be supplemented by computerized tools like Manuscript Matcher. Manuscript Matcher uses an abstract and, if provided, a reference list to generate a list of suggestions of journals where that article may be a good fit.

Some publishers, such as Elsevier and Springer, provide free tools to match your abstract to recommended journals, but their recommendations only include that publisher’s journals.  Manuscript Matcher suggests journals across many publishers. Journals in Web of Science’s Core Collection, Journal Citation Reports, or Arts and Humanities Citation Index could be a match. Although Manuscript Matcher is more comprehensive than publishers’ sites, it works best for subject areas that Web of Science covers well.

Along with the suggested journals, Manuscript Matcher displays the Journal Impact Factors. The display includes both the Journal Impact Factor number and a journal’s quartile relative to other journals in the same discipline.

To access Manuscript Matcher, go to Web of Science and click on the Endnote link near the top of the page. Login to EndNote account or create a free account if you don’t have one already. Within EndNote, click on “Match” to access the Manuscript Matcher. From there, you can enter a title and abstract into the Manuscript Matcher. To potentially improve the match, put your reference list in EndNote and link to the list in Manuscript Matcher.

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By Julie Arendt, science and engineering research librarian

Image: Modified from CiteRank Citation Network Diagram, Brookhaven National Laboratory

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

The Vernacular Tradition: A video account of math manuscripts

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The Vernacular Tradition
James Branch Cabell Library Storage
QA21 .V47 1987

This video gives a fascinating narration
of early mathematics text written in the vernacular language. The Vernacular Tradition, as the title implies, explores the translation of mathematics written with practical application to everyday life. It gives an account of problem solving using mathematical methods. One example is the system of double-entry bookkeeping used in accounting.

Two remarkable works are mentioned in the video, one Greek and one Italian. The Italian work, Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita, written by Luca Pacioli, was published in 1494. The narrator takes the viewer through translations of this rare book, which is in the collection of the Cambridge University Library. Hearing and following the narrator through the chapters of this remarkable Renaissance scholarly work is the next best thing to reading the book itself.

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By Ibironke Lawal, engineering and science collections librarian

Image: Creative Commons

New Web of Science Databases: Expanded resources

VCU Libraries in 2015 expanded its access to Web of Science (WOS) databases with the addition of new titles and backfile coverage for existing titles.

Compiled by Lynne Turman, head of collections, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences and Ibironke Lawal, engineering and special collections librarian

Image: Creative Commons

CRCnetBASE: Science, technology and medicine

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CRCnetBASE is a collection of more than 9,300 ebooks in more than 350 subject areas with a focus on science, technology and medicine. It has won awards for best reference, best platform and outstanding academic resource. It’s also accessible from any mobile device. The database also includes collections with specific focuses:

  • CHEMnetBASE includes chemical and chemical-related dictionaries like Handbook of Physics and Chemistry, Dictionary of Natural Products, Dictionary of Commonly Cited Compounds and many more. It has an interactive periodic table and quick search for chemical and physical properties of compounds.
  • FORENSICnetBASE offers ebooks on forensics, computer crime investigation, criminal justice, law enforcement, security management and more, with applications in both humanities and science fields.
  • ENVIROnetBASE contains interactive ebooks on environmental topics such as  environmental engineering, forestry, earth science, GIS and mapping, wildlife science, landscape ecology and more.
  • ENGnetBASE covers civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical and mining engineering, as well as more specific areas like networking communications, packaging and bio-processing.
  • MATERIALSnetBASE offers 50 handbooks and reference materials on topics like adhesives, ceramics and glass, fire science, surface engineering, metals and alloys and industrial textiles.

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Image: CHEMnetBASE

ClinicalKey: Evidence-based practice information


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ClinicalKey now is your major source for evidence-based practice information on the go. The medical and surgical database from Elsevier is the new clinical reference resource replacing MDConsult.

It is available 24/7 from classrooms to clinics. An unlimited number of users can sign on simultaneously. Clinicians are the key users for this resource. But, because of its depth and vast offerings, ClinicalKey’s debut has implications for every program on the MCV Campus.

ClinicalKey includes many more high-quality books and journals, along with other content types, all searchable from a single interface.

Books: 1,100 medical and surgical reference books
Journals: 600 medical and surgical journals
Procedures Consult: procedural videos in various specialties
First Consult: more than 850 Point-of-Care clinical monographs
Drug Monographs: some  2,900 clinical pharmacology drug monographs from Gold Standard
Patient Education: 15,000 customizable patient education handouts
Clinical Trials:
all trials from the database
Practice Guidelines:
4,500 practice guidelines
Fully indexed MEDLINE
17,000 medical and surgical videos and more than 2.2 million images

All content in ClinicalKey is updated daily. You create a personal ClinicalKey account to use special features such as the Presentation Maker or to save searches or to earn CME credit.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences at (804) 828-0636 or by email at

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Material ConneXion: Inspiration supplier

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Artists and designers browse Material ConneXion Database for ideas and inspiration. Engineers and innovators search this resource for new materials that meet unique performance needs. It also offers photographs of more than 7,000 advanced materials.

Fifty to 60 juried, selected materials are added to the database each month. Selected materials are beautiful, functional, sustainable and interesting. Material ConneXion includes many types of materials, including textiles, plastics, ceramics, metals and glass.

The advanced search area allows exploration and discovery. It has an option to search for materials with particular properties, such as heat resistance or colorfastness, without entering any search terms. Material ConneXion includes options for locating certified materials as well.

Material suppliers’ contact information is provided. A built-in email form makes it easy to request samples and price quotes. In regular updates, entries for materials that are discontinued and unavailable are removed from the database.

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By Julie Arendt, science and engineering research librarian

Image: Koroyd, Material ConneXion Materials Database