New electronic indexes
World News Database
The ISU e-Library has recently subscribed to Newsbank's "Access World News." This electronic database carries full text newspaper articles from all over the world, as well as right here in Iowa! A "Search Shortcuts" menu bar on the left side of the screen allows users to select well-known US newspapers, Iowa newspapers, newswires, transcripts, or business or military news. In addition, users have the capability to do a worldwide search of all the newspapers in the database at once, or focus on the newspapers published within a certain country. Descriptions of each country's newspapers are provided. This is a fascinating and very promising addition to the e-Library's collection of electronic resources!
Alerts, Tables of Contents and Saved Search Services
In general, "alerts" refer to email notifications when something of interest to you has been published or added to a database. These can be on specific topics or from specific journals. Saved search features or subject alerts do not save the records you were looking at in your search; they save only the topic so it can easily be re-run to look for newer articles. Definitions, terminology and frequency of notification vary from publisher to publisher. Email notifications will usually require you to register your email address and preferences. Any email address will work; it does not need to be your official university email address. These services are not available for all databases and journals, but are becoming popular features. More information on Alerts, Tables of Contents and Saved Search Services.
After a 17 month hiatus, bibliographic records for journal articles and other free, full-text documents in education are again being added to the ERIC database, the primary resource for finding education-related research. As of early July, 110 journals in education from over 25 publishers are being comprehensively indexed. (Formerly, over 700 journals in education were indexed.) It is expected that more journals will be added in the future. Free, full-text documents, including Department of Education reports, materials from State Education Agencies, non-profit and professional associations are also being made available electronically. Prior to January 2004, this non-journal literature was provided full-text via First Search and CSA; however, at the present time it is only available at the ERIC website http://www.eric.ed.gov.
Several enhancements have been added to the ERIC website to make accessing the database easier including nested Boolean searching, and using ERIC descriptors in searches. The ERIC database can be found on the e-Library's "Indexes and Abstracts" web page.
EBSCOHost Academic Search Elite
For some years, we've been advocating the use of the Expanded Academic ASAP database as a means for students to find general articles on all sorts of different topics. Now we have a complementary resource to offer, EBSCOHost Academic Search Elite. This database, like Expanded Academic, provides access to many full text articles from about 2000 scholarly journals. Both Academic Search Elite and Expanded Academic ASAP can be found on the e-Library's Indexes and Abstracts web page.
The ISU Library (along with 30 other libraries in the GWLA consortium) received an offer on a special discounted package for Geoscience World and GeoRef. As a result, we were able to widen GeoRef database access to an unlimited number of users and now have electronic access to the full text of approximately 30 earth sciences journals. The cost was absorbed by switching the journals it covers from print subscriptions to the electronic versions and by canceling a handful of other journals (in consultation with the Geological & Atmospheric Sciences department). We are still programming in the remote access to it, but full-text journal articles are accessible from any on-campus computer at http://www.geoscienceworld.org.
For more details about GeoScienceWorld, check out the recent review written by Gerry McKiernan (one of the ISU Science & Technology librarians) that was published in Library Hi Tech News, v. 22, no. 5, 2005, pp. 26-36.
The ISU Library has begun acquiring journal archives (older years) for some electronic journals. Recent purchases include journal archives for the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Chemical Society. Many of these archives allow researchers to jump from cited references back to the original journal article they are mentioning (if it was also published in a journal from one of these organizations). Access to these older journal articles is almost invisible - just locate the journal you want on the Libraries' "e-Journals and e-Books" pages, and when you get to the journal's web page, you should notice there are now more years available to browse.
Reference and Instruction services
The ISU Library Social Sciences and Humanities Department and Science and Technology Department each consist of subject librarians who can offer one-on-one in-depth advice for research projects to faculty and students, specialized library tour(s) tailored to your research areas, workshops and class presentations on specific library resources (e.g., how to use Web of Science or how to locate electronic journal articles), and assistance in creating Instruction Commons pages to support your courses. In addition, each subject librarian is responsible for purchasing materials for the collection relevant to the particular area of specialty. See the list of Social Sciences and and Humanities subject librarians, and the list of Science and Technology subject librarians.