Spotlight On “Gale Virtual Reference Library”

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If you are not sure where to start your research or if you want some basic background information on your topic, you may want to try a reference resource. Reference resources include books like encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, and almanacs. When you can’t come into the library to use the print books, you can access a lot of this information online using the Gale Virtual Reference Library. If you need help finding background information, using Gale Virtual Reference Library, or even coming up with a topic, a Research Coach can help.

You can find a link to the Gale Virtual Reference Library on the Databases, E-books, and Media quick link on the library’s homepage. The databases are listed alphabetically, so scroll down until you see Gale Virtual Reference Library. This will give you the proper access as a Union student or employee (googling the database won’t do that).

Gale Virtual Reference Library has maps, encyclopedic entries of all types (cultural, historical, general, etc.), and dictionary entries. You can narrow your results by type of document, so if you only want maps, you can filter results for just maps. The type of document is also found underneath the results’ title in the search results list.

Another great feature of Gale databases is the reading level filter. Some Gale databases use a Lexile number where the higher the number, the higher the reading level. Others like Gale Virtual Reference Library use colored boxes with dots in them to show the reading levels. An orange box with five dots is geared for high school and above readers, while green with one dot is for early elementary readers. This can be a great way to filter results if you are wanting some simple background information or if you are looking for more technical information. You may also just filter for lower reading levels because you don’t want to go cross-eyed reading a college level text (we’ve all been there 😉). Don’t forget to schedule a Research Coach appointment if you want assistance with research or using Gale Virtual Reference Library; we are more than happy to help.

Spotlight On “Academic Search Complete”

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Academic Search Complete, an EBSCO-hosted database, is a general database that the Union Library subscribes to. We call it a general database because you can find articles from many different subject areas, including sciences, mathematics, and humanities. Since this is an EBSCO database, you will find the search features and look of the site like many other databases. EBSCO allows you to search more than one database at a time. This is a nice feature because it makes your research more efficient.

Academic Search Complete starts you with an advanced search, which means you can use multiple search terms (topics or words to describe your topic). Academic Search Complete lets you filter results using date ranges, document type, location, publication, etc. You will also want to note the filters for full text (which makes sure you pull up full articles) and scholarly peer-reviewed articles (reviewed by an expert in the field). Many professors want peer-reviewed articles, so this filter can save you time and energy when searching.

I often recommend Academic Search Complete due to its simple interface and the numerous filters. Academic Search Complete pulls up results based on relevance; it also highlights your search terms within the record, so you know why that article was included in the results list. I also like being able to search in more than one database at the same time. There are some other great features in Academic Search Complete that a Research Coach would love to show you for improving your own research efforts.

Academic Search Complete is found on many of the research guides, but can also be accessed by going to the Databases, E-Books, and Media quick link on the library’s homepage. The databases are listed alphabetically- scroll until you see Academic Search Complete.

Spotlight On “ERIC”

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ERIC, Education Resource Information Center, is an educational database sponsored by the Institute of Education Services and free for anyone to use. ERIC is a go-to database for research related to education including almost 2 million records from the 1960s to the present. You will find reports and articles from non-profit organizations and government agencies, legislative hearings, and education journal articles and books. Please note: ERIC is for educational research, so you will not find lesson plans, textbooks, or book reviews. If you do need those things, check out some of our other databases, or reach out to a Research Coach for assistance.

As a Union employee or student, you can also search the ERIC database using the EBSCO interface. You may want to use the EBSCO version because the search features are similar to other databases you already use, such as Academic Search Complete or APA PsychInfo. The filters (like scholarly peer-reviewed, full text, date ranges, and language) will work in ERIC through EBSCO. However, the ERIC website is also user friendly and has some of the same filters like peer-reviewed and full text. These filters are found under the search bar.

You can access articles directly on the ERIC website. You can also find the link for ERIC on the Databases, E-Books, and Media quick link on the library homepage. The Database list includes access to ERIC and ERIC through EBSCO. Try both methods of access to decide which you prefer. If you access ERIC through EBSCO, you will be prompted to go to ERIC in order to download the full article (follow the prompts for finding full text).

Spotlight On “Westlaw Next”

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For students who need to find law, business, or news articles, Westlaw Next is a great database with which to start. The library provides access to Westlaw Next through our “Databases” link on the library website. Simply scroll down the alphabetical list of databases to find Westlaw Next, click on the link, and then you can begin searching within Westlaw Next.

What can you access through Westlaw Next? A few of its resources include court cases, state and federal law information, briefs, statutes and court rules, legislative history, and more. Westlaw Next also provides a “Campus Help Guide” pdf on its search page so that you can find help with navigating and searching the database.

For more help finding the databases and articles that you need, call the library at 731.661.5070, or come to our Circulation or Research Desks for in-person assistance.

 

 

How To Set Up A Zoom Research Coach Appointment

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Have you ever needed help with research but can’t make it to the library? We’ve all been there, and now the library has a solution for you. Did you know that you can meet with a librarian for Research Coaching from the comfort of your room?

Meet with a Research Coach through Zoom video conferencing. Schedule an appointment today:

  1. When you schedule your Research Coach appointment (see directions for scheduling), choose the Video Conferencing (Zoom) option.
  2. Once you have scheduled an appointment, your coach will send you a confirmation email with your Zoom appointment link.
  3. A few minutes before your appointment time, open the Zoom link.
  4. Follow the prompts for downloading the Zoom application (you only need to do this once).
  5. You can choose to only use audio, but we recommend using video as well (we can see you, and you can see us).
  6. Your coach will start the Zoom conference; we will want to share our screen with you, or have you share yours with us. Your coach will walk you through this process during your meeting.

 

The Zoom conference is a great alternative if you can’t make it to the library. We can walk you through the research process and answer any of your questions. Zoom conferences allow you to see what we are doing live.

We recommend using a computer for Zoom conferences, although it is possible to use your mobile device. Get started today!

Spotlight On “Zoom”

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Zoom is the perfect tool for meeting with a Research Coach even if you’re miles away. Through Zoom, you can schedule a video conference with one of our Research Coaches. All you need is a computer!

To get started with Zoom, you’ll need to create a free account. We have a guide on how to do this here.

Once you have a Zoom account, you can schedule an appointment with a Research Coach (click this link)!

Top 5 Political Science Journals

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Political science is a constantly updating field, with new world leaders and policies being decided each day. Keep up with the latest news and theories in political science with these library-provided databases.

 

This collection provides well-rounded coverage of both the current thinking and events in US History, as well as scholarly work being established in the field.
This collection includes content from over 400 journals, covering all aspects of the past and current state of military affairs. Key subjects covered include: socioeconomic effects of war, governmental policies, the structure of armed forces, and many more.
Academic Search Complete is the world’s most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 12,500 journals and a total of more than 13,200 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format. Searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,400 journals.

 

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GPO Monthly Catalog

Consists of records published by the GPO since July 1976. Includes references for documents to congressional committee reports and hearings, debates, documents from executive departments and more.
JSTOR is an archival database providing full-text access to back issues of scholarly journals in a variety of disciplines, many dating back to the 1800’s. Union has access to publications within the Arts & Sciences Collections 1-7.

Spotlight On “Volunteer Voices”

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Are you interested in learning about Tennessee history? The Volunteer Voices project is a collection of documents, artifacts, photos, and other facets of local culture. The library provides access to Volunteer Voices as a database in our Databases, E-Books, and Media tab. You can also access Volunteer Voices via the Tennessee Secretary of State website.

So, what can you read about in Volunteer Voices? The project has many broad topics to choose from, including the following [click the links to access Volunteer Voices]:

Broad Topics
African-Americans
Architecture
Arts and Literature
Children and Childhood
Civil and Human Rights
Education
Family Life and Gender Relations
Farming and Agriculture
Frontier Settlement and Migration
Government and Politics
Health and Medicine
Immigrants and Immigration
Law and Legal Documents
Music and Performing Arts
Native Americans
Nature and the Environment
Popular Culture and Folklife
Religion
Science and Technology
Social Reform
Sports and Recreation
Trade, Business and Industry
Transportation and Internal Improvements
Wars and Military
Women

You can also choose to search the collection for specific terms, or you can simply browse the collection and see what the project has to offer. You’ll find documents like personal letters, campaign advertisements, pamphlets, photographs, and more. The collection allows you to narrow your search down by choosing subjects, genres, and the historical era of your topic.

The next time you’re searching for Tennessee history, head to Volunteer Voices and get started. You can also tour our library’s online archives, search our catalog here, visit the Tennesee Room at the Jackson Madison County Library, or visit the Madison County Archives.

 

 

Top 5 Education Databases

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Education majors learn everything from classroom theories to hands-on teaching. If you’re studying education and looking for quality research, the library has several excellent databases that can help you. All of these databases can be found on the library’s website.

1. ERIC (Ebsco)

This database gives you the option of advanced searches on subjects from adult education to teaching students with learning disabilities. ERIC also allows you to export your results to RefWorks and locate full-text options available through other library databases.

 

2. Educator’s Reference Complete

Whether you need to use the Topic Finder option to find new keywords or the Publication Search to find a specific resource, Educator’s Reference Complete has it all. You can even narrow your search down to be as specific as the country of publication.

 

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3. Professional Collection (Gale)

Striving to cover a variety of topics, Professional Collection provides a good balance of education articles. Regardless of which subject you plan to teach, Professional Collection probably has an in-depth study on it.

 

4. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (Global)

When you need to view someone else’s scholarly work, this is the database for you. More than 70,000 dissertations and theses are added every year. Be sure to use the helpful “date range” when searching, if you need articles within a certain time frame.

 

5. General OneFile (Gale)

A “catch-all” database, General OneFile houses research of every kind. General OneFile will link you to articles on diverse classrooms, teaching controversial topics, and more.

 

Check out the Education Research Guide for more help with resources!