Monday, February 27, 2012

Treasure Trove of Websites from CHOICE Reviews®, Part 1 of 2

CHOICE® “is a publishing unit of the Association of College &
Research Libraries
, a division of the American Library Association. Here are some of the websites recommended for academic research in the past few months that I thought you might find useful and interesting.

Digital Gallery, from the National Library of Scotland.The site includes such things as rare books, engravings, photos, audio clips, and transcripts. For the GIS crowd, the Maps link on the site contains 20K+ enlargeable historical maps of Scotland.

Army Heritage Collections Online, from the US Army Heritage and Education Center. The site provides easy access to Civil War and WWII photos, interview transcripts from the Senior Officer Oral History Program, and other US Army Military History Institute archival materials. Links to other military sites are provided, along with various finding tools, types of searches, a site map, and a “What’s New” section.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, from the National Digital Newspaper Program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. Not only does this site index American newspapers from 1690 to the present, it provides digital access to more than a million newspaper pages from 1860 to the present. To date, 23 of the 50 states and territories have provided content through two-year grants to digitize 100,000 pages each from a representative or state library’s microfilm collection. Free and easy to use.

Science and Technology
Chemical Blogspace, by Egon Willighagen, Uppsala University. This is an aggregator of chemical and bio-chemical blogs from around the world, permitting scientists and researchers to contribute “letters to the editor”-style commentary on published works, as well as “the option to report scientific misconduct” (from CHOICE Review January 2012)., edited by Mads Soegaard et al. The site includes a freely downloadable Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, along with other free educational materials for research into human-computer interaction/interaction design.

National Pesticide Information Center, from Oregon State University and US EPA. If you are interested in “pesticide use, exposure, environmental fate, and crisis management” (from CHOICE Review January 2012), this is the site for you. Information encompasses bibliographies, fact sheets, research and annual reports, and various free publications.

TechCrunch, founded by Michael Arrington in 2005. Unlike Gizmodo, EndGadget, or CNET, this site provides both current digital technology news and company profiles in a single search. The home page aggregates a continuously updated digital tech news feed.

Images, from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). This site provides access to free images extracted from NCBI’s full-text biomedical and life sciences literature, using search parameters developed for NCBI’s well-known PubMed database []. Results display as a relevance-ranked summary with thumbnail images and links to full-text from other sites.

United State Code, from the Office of the Law Revision Counsel of the US House of Representatives. (You will find US Code Annotated in the library’s subscription to Westlaw Campus Edition.)  The site is authoritative, of high quality and reliability, easily searchable for both beginning and advanced users, and makes the digital US Code accessible to everyone.

Children’s Picture Book Database at Miami University, by Valerie Ubbes.  See also: Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Web Site. More than 5,000 children’s picture books have been indexed and abstracted, making it easy for teachers, parents, and librarians to identify and select children’s picture books for K-12 curricular units by concept, topic and/or skill.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Who Moved My Newspaper!?!

You now will find access to the New York Times in the ProQuest newspaper package “Newsstand Complete,"which now includes the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, with online full-text back to the 1980s.

Other newspaper sources available from Cannon Memorial Library include ProQuest's National Newspaper Core, EBSCOhost's Newspaper Source Plus and Regional Business News, and NewsBank.

So, whether you're looking for local news, regional news, business news, national news, or international news, you will find it in full-text online at your library.

Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage

Have you noticed the link to Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage in our list of databases? One key component of this new resource is S&P’s industry surveys, which has its own custom search template on the home page. Or, use the tab “Companies” and then go to “Corporation Records” to find company descriptions. Check out the “Financial Education” tab for terrific resources to help you increase your financial acumen.

Backfile Access to Market Share Reporter from Gale Directory Library

Are you having a problem accessing all issues of the Market Share Reporter available from the Gale Directory Library in the eBook section of the library's online resources?

Make sure to click on the “Include both current and backfile directories” radio button when you’re searching for something other than the current year.
Problem solved!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Web Apps, Sites, and Programs To Personalize Your Internet Experience

Dr. Jeff D. Borden, Chief Academic Officer of eCollege, presented "Personalization: How Far Can/Should/Will We Go?" on the main campus for Faculty Development Day, Jan. 5, 2012.

He mentioned many Internet sites and applications for personalizing online educational experiences.

Here are some of my favorites from Dr. Borden's presentation:

  • Wordle: Use this site to create colorful "word clouds" from text you provide.
  • Done in Sixty Seconds: You will find several examples of movies "done" in 60 seconds on, but this company, also known as DISS, can produce one for you. Check the site for pricing. (Students beware! This isn't free.)
  • EnterZon: Sponsored by the Office of Chinese Language Council International and Michigan State University, use this multi-player interactive game to learn Chinese language and culture. Registration required.
  • The Mixxer: Hosted by Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, uses Skype to connect language learners from around the globe. Post a blog entry and have a native speaker correct it or make comments. Find a language learning partner and share your skills as a native speaker. Teachers can set up special groups for their own students. Free.
  • Sophia: Parents, teachers, and students are invited to register and join this free online learning community. Their motto is "Teach what you know. learn what you don't." User-generated content is already organized into "packets" to get you started.
  • Edistorm: Sign up for a 30-day free trial or choose a subscription option, then use this site to collaborate with others at a distance, online using laptops, mobile devices, or SmartBoards. You can post virtual sticky notes, edit them, make comments, vote, and then export results in various formats. 
  • Crocodoc: Once the brainstorming is done and you are working on a project, use this free, online site to view documents, PDFs or images, edit and mark them up, make comments, and share or embed them. 
  • InnoCentive: Businesses and organizations post real-life problems on the site, individuals can sign up as "solvers," and the power of crowdsourcing ultimately leads to solutions that improve the world and pay out cash prizes of $5000 and up for the winning solution.  
  • But wait, there are more! Check out Quirky, HistoryPin, HeadMagnet, SCVNGR, and YNAB. Most are free, some require a fee. Caveat emptor!