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Archive for the ‘database tips’ Category

Dyabola Tips

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Dyabola is an essential resource for archaeology research, but can be a little baffling. In no particular order, here are a few comments about how it works based on my work with it so far. It reminds me a lot of the CD-ROM interface I used for it in 1993.

  • It includes several collections of data we don’t subscribe to–they are in grey on the list and marked “get license”.
  • You’ll need to check the box labeled “Activate IP access” and hit “start”. Select the language of the interface by clicking on the flag you like.
  • Dyabola keeps a list of successful searches (i.e., ones with results) on the right; you can get back to a previous search by clicking on it, or return to the main menu by selecting Search Result Options.
  • What it’s searching is authors and titles; it’s also possible to browse by subject or by DAI record number.
  • Simple keyword searching appears to work fairly well
  • It is possible to combine lists of search results; it’s necessary to search multi-word phrases individually and combine them into a new result…which you have to name.
  • It is possible to print a list of citations
  • Author searching is gender-neutral. Which is to say, use initials rather than first names.
    • When you do a search it opens up a separate window without the usual browser back button and other controls
    • you can right-click (Windows) or option-click (Mac) to get the Back option
    • you can also click on one of the terms in Session Results on the right to get back to a set of results

Questions? Just ask!

JSTOR Redesign

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

FindIt at Tufts button crossed out

JSTOR has made some significant changes to how it works, in addition to adding a new coat of paint to its design. Traditionally JSTOR has not covered the current issues of the journals it includes, with anywhere from 3-5 years of current issues usually excluded. It’s also traditionally been all full-text–anything you found in JSTOR you could read immediately. Over the last year JSTOR has been doing deals with scholarly publishers to include abstracts of current issues of some of its journals, about 174 so far, of the 1200 or so we subscribe to from JSTOR. (full list of titles).

This makes JSTOR more like a service along the lines of Academic Onefile, which includes lots of full text and some abstracts. What’s tricky is that JSTOR so far doesn’t support the technology behind our FindIt@Tufts feature, which points you in the direction of subscriptions elsewhere in our collections. We subscribe to most of what they’re indexing, and if you’re on campus and follow a link that looks like this you’ll likely have no trouble reading and downloading. From off-campus you may be asked to pay for access to an article–don’t do this before you check and see whether the library catalog has the journal title and date. You can also request things we don’t have through ILLiad , our interlibrary loan service, and get a PDF copy emailed to you, usually in two days or less.

JSTOR Search Options

JSTOR search options

If you want to search JSTOR the way you have in the past, uncheck the “include links to external content” box on the search screen.

If you want to search just the current material, uncheck the “include only content I can access” box. But note that this is a few years of less than two hundred of the 40,000 or so titles we subscribe to.

Confused? Just ask if you get stuck.

L’année philologique gets a facelift

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Home page of l'annee philologique

Home page of l'annee philologique

L’année philologique continues to resolutely remain ten years behind where the rest of the web is, but there are some substantial changes in addition to the new paint job.

The big news: L’année will now include notices of articles and other works prior to their appearance in the print volume at the end of the year in a special tab next to search results called “Interim Records”. A few sample searches show results from as recently as last year (!). I mock, but this is actually a big change from the print edition, which has traditionally run about three years behind the current date. There is a current list of new material added, updated monthly. But there is no convenient way to get notice of this, other than to visit this page. (I’ll see if I can come up with a solution for this over the summer). One minor nuisance: interim records can be printed, emailed, or saved…but not sent directly to Refworks.

Annee Results

Interim records displayed on results pages

A few minor additions:

  • users can set up an account to keep track of searches and save results between visits (that’s 99% of what you get if you set up an account)
  • there is a modest increase in the number of forms you can export citations in (text, PDF, Refworks file, Refworks direct export)
screenshot of preferences panel

screenshot of preferences panel

Changes to the search interface

The underlying structure of the database appears not to have changed, but some of the mechanical difficulty of doing a search has been decreased.

  • Limit by language in Advanced Search (sadly this is limited to English, French, Italian, Spanish, and German–no Bulgarian or Czech). Go to “Advanced Search” and select the “Filters” menu at the bottom
Advanced search screen with location of search filters

Advanced search screen with location of search filters

Questions or concerns? Let me know.

New in JSTOR

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

JSTOR is currently running a trial of a new type of information, 19th-century British pamphlets, at least through June 30th, 2009. The collection consists of several thousand pamphlets scanned by British universities, on a variety of subjects, mostly political and religious, with a good mix of government documents, reports, and speeches mixed in. Looking for contemporary commentary on a speech by Disraeli? Are priests sumptuous livers, wine-bibbers, and thorough idlers? Interested in an 1825 list of grievances from coal miners?