Archive for the ‘Electronic databases’ Category

Wiley Online Library back to normal and scheduled maintenance for ProQuest this Sunday

March 11, 2016

Access to Wiley Online Library has been restored and  you should be able to access journals as normal.

There is also some scheduled maintenance for ProQuest databases this Sunday 13th March from 3.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. where ProQuest databases and RefWorks will be unavailable.

 

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Problems with IHS databases (Construction Information Service, Engineer-it, Occupational Health and Safety Information Service, Specify-it)

March 7, 2016

We are experiencing difficulties accessing IHS databases this afternoon (Construction Information Service, Engineer-it, Occupational Health and Safety Information Service and Specify-it). The problem has been reported and it is hoped will be resolved as soon as possible. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Scheduled late night maintenance for ProQuest databases

February 12, 2016

In case you are planning on doing any work on your assignments through the night… ProQuest will be unavailable for six hours from 3 a.m. on Sunday 14th February for essential maintenance.

IHS databases currently unavailable

February 8, 2016

It’s damp and rather miserable outside so why not add a resource problem into the mix…? We are having problems with IHS databases just at the moment, i.e. Engineer-it, Specify-it, Construction Information Service and Occupational Health and Safety Information Service. None of these databases are accessible. The problem is due to a server issue with the provider of the database, and they are working to rectify the problem as soon as possible. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Number crunching

February 2, 2016

This week is all about numbers: how much; how often. I’m gathering together lots of information about resources at the moment, and after a full day of looking at spread sheets and graphs and pie charts yesterday, this morning I find my mind in a need of a little light relief.

What’s light relief in the world of an Electronic Resources Librarian, I hear you ask? Looking at yet more statistics, of course! But sometimes I do like to look at things “for fun”. Last week, my daughter had to do some homework on graphs and did some work on representing everyone’s favourite biscuit. Custard creams came out top. So as I’m thinking about our information, I’m wondering what everyone’s favourite database would be here. ScienceDirect? Discover@Bolton? Wiley journals? SportDISCUS? It’s actually not that easy to unpick: what is one person’s favourite database isn’t necessarily someone else’s. There are so many different factors involved that transcend every piece of statistical information I might collect on a database: what is the subject coverage? Is it a full text database? Is it a database of archived journal issues (like JSTOR, for example) or is up current? Is it easy to use? It might have the best content in the world, but what’s the use if no one can access that content!

So to try to determine the “most popular” database is probably very difficult. What might be interesting, however, is to see which of our multidisciplinary databases is being used more. Taking Discover@Bolton out of the equation for just a moment, let’s have a look at ProQuest Central, ScienceDirect, Scopus, JSTOR and Credo. Now, I know without looking (because I’ve been doing this job a long time!) which of these is the most frequently used based on the numbers of full-text downloads or in the case of Scopus, searches. For the academic year 2014/15 this would look like this:

chart

I was right, of course 🙂

What I was surprised about, however, was how high the number of searches was for ScienceDirect. This important database is so much more than the “science” in its name might suggest. It includes journals that cover a huge range of topics such as arts, humanities, economics, finance, psychology and social sciences. With its comprehensive scientific coverage, this database is about as multidisciplinary as it comes.

The good thing about a tool such as Discover@Bolton is that you can access that non-scientific content in a database like ScienceDirect without even knowing that that database will provide you with relevant content.

Access to Discover@Bolton was only enabled in February 2015; full access didn’t come until September. Therefore, the number of searches for the academic year 2014/15 isn’t yet representative of its impact. I’d be interested to see what happens when we look at usage for the academic year 2015/16: at this point (from August which is when we start recording our academic year) we’ve reached an amazing 171,149 searches and 17,253 visits. It’s number crunching like this I enjoy: it’s just one way we can delve into the impact of our electronic resources.

As to the biscuit poll in our household, mine was the only vote for bourbons…

New CIS platform available

January 11, 2016

A new Construction Information Service (CIS) platform is now available, accessible from the main IHS page:

ihs old 11.1.15

The new platform, which is accessible from here, looks very different to the previous platform, but is easy to navigate, see an example of how it looks here:

cis new platform 11.1.16

You’ll have already logged in once you’ve clicked on the link on the A to Z list of electronic resources or the Resources by Subject pages, so when you’ve arrived at the new platform, you’ll be able to see that you are logged in as you can see “Logout” in the top right-hand corner.

If you have any problems at all, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Subject Help Desk.

Reaching a milestone: the Scopus Cited Reference Expansion Programme

January 7, 2016

Last summer, I talked about the University of Bolton’s involvement in the UK Scopus User Enhancement Group, and how it is very important to contribute in any way we can to the ongoing development of such an important academic resource.

It’s also an opportunity to find out what’s on the horizon, and one of the developments that was discussed at that meeting was the Scopus Cited Reference Expansion Programme and the roadmap for its progress. While accessing Scopus myself this afternoon, I spotted a progress report on this project which I thought I’d share. The Scopus Cited Reference Expansion Programme will, over the course of around 12 months, aims to add capture million of citations to pre-1996 articles back to 1970 and beyond. By the end of last year, over 5 million had already been added, and it’s hoped that this figure will almost double in 2016.

It seems incredible to think that citation information of anything published prior to 1996 isn’t available: after all, isn’t everything available at the touch of a button? You’d be forgiven for thinking that, but the world of information provision has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. This blog author was in the middle of her A-Levels then: almost every essay I handed in was handwritten; we didn’t use the internet at all in the course of our studies; there were no electronic resources available us. Moreover, we either had chalkboards in our classrooms or overhead projectors with acetate slides!  (one of these, for the uninitiated)

The concept of an electronic journal being the norm – or should I say, the expectation as I believe is absolutely justifiable – really didn’t come into play until relatively recently. It is still the case that content to electronic material before 1997 shouldn’t be regarded as expected, so projects like the Scopus Cited Reference Expansion Programme are an important way to ensure that intellectual output is ‘retrospectively’ converted to an electronic format.

A look back at 2015 (and welcome back to UBIR!)

January 4, 2016

The problems we were having with UBIR this morning have been resolved thanks to the swift actions of our Networks team and the service is working as normal.

Every year, I like to look back on the previous year, so now that we appear to be without resource problems, it’s time to do just that for 2015. However, before I do, over Christmas I was watching one of these ‘review of the year’ type programmes. I happened to catch the closing credits, and one of the sources mentioned was WGSN – Worth Global Style Network – which is a resource that we have access to here at the University of Bolton. Among other areas, WGSN looks at current and predicted trends, and is proof that our resources are essential for understanding a topic. Access WGSN via the library webpages or via Discover@Bolton.

Anyway, I digress. Back to 2015.

Last year was an exciting year for me as Electronic Resources Librarian as a number of very important changes were made to make your experience of accessing and discovering electronic resources better. We’ll come to these changes later.

In January, we had a fair few resource problems (staggeringly, my first post of 2015 concerned UBIR outage!) which were a cause of frustration. I think that was possibly one of the worst months I’ve known for that. However, we also looked at the British Library’s Save our Sounds project which is looking to negate the very real issue that in just 15 years, many recorded sounds could be inaccessible as equipment required to preserve and play them becomes obsolete. February was an exciting month: Discover@Bolton search boxes appeared on the library website. Although at that stage Discover@Bolton was only accessible on-campus, this was the first time that a service to search multiple databases at once was made readily available to the University of Bolton community. March saw a solar eclipse, and we looked at how we could use our electronic databases to find out more about this phenomenon.

April was a quiet month, so we reviewed Save our Sounds and pointed readers in the direction of JISC’s Summer of Innovation. May saw a General Election and as well as a new government, we also acquired two new resources: WGSN Lifestyle and Interiors and the online edition of the British Medical Journal. As the academic year drew to a close, June seemed to be a busy month for resource problems, including one of the most bizarre remote access I’ve ever come across in 10 years of working with electronic resources.

July was another quiet month, not least because of major refurbishment works that were taking place in the Library over the summer. As we all looked forward to a break, I considered the merits of speaking to publishes about resource usage and development, and how it is important to engage with them. July was also when I presented Discover@Bolton to staff at the University’s TIRI Conference, and how it could be used to enhance learning. My presentation is available here. As the summer drew on, in August we looked at OAPEN-UK, a project set to investigate issues surrounding the publication of textbooks in electronic format.

All this time, I was working on two important developments that  came to fruition in September. The first of these was a major change – in the background – to how we log into resources. This change was particularly important for remote access and we really hope things are simpler now. The other change, and the one I’m most excited about, was the off-campus launch of Discover@Bolton. That was pretty much the only news that month, but it was certainly big news! In October, we acquired yet another new resource: Acland Anatomy. We also looked at open access as part of Open Access Week and we had the first of our Subject Librarian guest posts: Reading Lists online by Mary Barden. November saw an exploration of Royal College of Nursing Journals by our Subject Librarian for Health Dawn Grundy, extra content was added to Discover@Bolton and we remembered George Boole, whose development of logic led to the use of AND, OR and NOT that we have come to use in our own library searches.

As the year drew to a close, December brought another Subject Librarian guest post, this time on services for researchers by Anne Keddie. We looked at the top 100 articles of 2015 according to Altmetric, and we had a bit of fun looking at the 12 Apps of Christmas.

So that was 2015. I wonder what 2016 will bring…

 

Happy birthday George Boole!

November 2, 2015

Today is the 200th birthday of Irish-born mathematician George Boole. Who on earth is George Boole, I hear you cry! Well, I had the same reaction when I saw Google’s doodle this morning (yes, librarians do use Google!). However, as soon as I examined the graphic a little more closely, I realised I knew exactly who George Boole was. Why? Because when using electronic resources to find information, we all use something that Boole devised. And what was that something? Boolean logic, of course. And although you may be sitting there wondering what that could possibly be, you do know the most basic components of Boolean logic: applying AND, OR and NOT to your searches.

I won’t pretend that I understand the full algebraic impact of Boole’s work – maths is most certainly not my strong point – or indeed any aspect of Boole’s contribution to the workings of algebra, but I do understand how his logic can be applied to searches. Use AND to combine search terms. Use not to OR to increase the results. Use NOT to exclude certain terms. It’s actually very simple, and understanding how you can use these three simple terms to improve your search results and ensure that you are getting the most out of our electronic resources.

Next time you’re searching, why not have a go at using these terms? You might find you get better results!

New! Acland Anatomy now available

October 19, 2015

Some good news to share… We now have access to Acland Anatomy (Acland’s Video Atlas of Human Anatomy), which is a truly unique resource that presents videos and images of three-dimensional specimens of parts of the human body. Providing an “appreciation of the real human body and a direct understanding of the mechanics of body movement”, the specimens photographed and videoed are presented in their ‘natural’ colours. Access the resource via the A to Z list of electronic resources on the Library webpages, and if you’re off-campus, make sure you take a look at the access notes.

The story behind this resource is actually quite interested. It began life in 1993, after one of Robert Acland’s students mused that it would be great to be able to see moving versions of the anatomy slides that were presented in lectures. At the time, Acland was working as a reconstructive microsurgeon but was transitioning to a second career as clinical anatomist. Within two weeks, Acland had resolved to turn his student’s suggestion into reality and thus the Video Atlas project was born.