Are you writing a final paper this week? Do you have questions about grammar and punctuation? Is the Writing Center closed? The University Libraries subscribes to the online version of both the 15th and 16th editions of the Chicago Manual of Style, an often used source for questions such as…
- Should I use which or that in my sentence?
- How do I punctuate a sentence with a URL in it?
- When should I use who versus whom?
- When should I use a semi-colon (my all-time favorite punctuation mark—it marks a pause, but one that has shades of hesitancy with a dose of elitism)
There is a search box in the upper right hand corner of the screen where you can search for your specific question of interest. Using fewer search terms works better.
The Manual can also be enjoyed by grammar-junkies who find it fascinating to read about the use of more esoteric aspects of the written word such as when nouns followed by gerunds may take the possessive form or when it might be appropriate to intensify an uncomparable adjective. Or perhaps one of your colleagues has a particular grammar or punctuation proclivity that you would like to address such as is it summer or Summer?
Also fun is to peruse the Q&A section of the website where the editors of the Style Manual provide witty and informative responses to even the most trivial questions of grammar and style.
For more information about this resource or another resource provided by the University Libraries, contact the Ekstrom Library Reference and Information Literacy Department at 852-6747 or use the reference question form.
Do you use Google Translate? The Oxford Language Dictionaries Online, available from the University Libraries Databases A-Z list offers some advantages over Google Translate, especially for beginning language learners.
- The Oxford dictionaries are authoritative. No “voting” on whether the translation is good or not. They are compiled by language experts.
- Phrases! It’s fine to know the meaning of a single word. Google translate works decently for that. When you’re learning a language though, it is super helpful to know the phrases that often accompany a particular word, especially when they color the meaning of that word or when the word is not used literally. For example, Google will tell you that “gesicht” in German means “face.” The Oxford Language Dictionary will tell you that “solche Unhöflichkeit steht dir nicht zu Gesicht[e]” or “such impoliteness ill becomes you.” The translation of that phrase in Google: “Such rudeness does not become you to face.”
- Need to cite the word you translated? Oxford Language Dictionaries Online help you do that with the click of a button!
- The dictionaries contain important grammatical information for each language.
- Lists of useful phrases to use when you’re traveling!
The dictionaries also briefly summarize the history and current state of the language. U of L Libraries subscribes to Chinese, German, French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish dictionaries through this service.
Have questions about this resource or any other library resource? Call 852-6747 or chat with us at Ask-a-Librarian.
So, your professor said you needed more credible sources…where do you go to get them? Google? Yeah, maybe if you want to sift through blogs, videos, random web pages, and all kinds of other fascinating but not exactly relevant information. What if there was a web page, created specifically for your major, that listed places to go to find academic/scholarly information? Well, good news, there is! UofL’s Research Guides are web pages created by librarians that list library databases of articles (and other types of info) that can help you with your papers. Although each research guide might look slightly different, they all have several consistent “tabs” across the top: Find Articles, Books, Primary Sources, Course Guides, Citing Sources, and Help.
The Find Articles tab guides you to databases where you can find scholarly and popular magazine articles that discuss topics in this subject area. These library databases are sort of like “gated communities” because you have to be a member of the UofL community to access the articles which are only available by a paid subscription.
The Books tab leads you to sources where you can find in-depth information in print or electronic book form.
Depending on the subject area, Primary Sources might lead you to library databases or free websites that have original documents for the field of study.
Sometimes, in addition to the research guide, a librarian will also modify a guide for a particular course pointing students to the specific sources they need to complete a research assignment. These can be found under the Course Guides tab.
The Citing Sources tab jumps to a page that lists particular citation style guides such as MLA, APA 6th, Chicago/Turabian as well as software or websites that can help you cite with the click of a button.
The Help tab will indicate who the subject librarian is for that area with his/her contact information and has a chat box available in case you have an immediate question.
Librarians are open to suggestions, so if you think of something that would be helpful to you to have on these guides, let us know! Take a minute and explore Ekstrom Library’s Research Guides today!
Are you and your students sick and tired of run-of-the-mill research assignments? Do you have an interest in urban architecture, genealogy, business, history, sociology or anthropology? Would your students like to explore Louisville? The University Libraries has an online resource that can help! The Sanborn Fire Insurance maps were “created to assist fire insurance companies as they assessed the risk associated with insuring a particular property.” They are “large scale plans of a city or town, drawn at a scale of 50 feet to an inch.” Using them, one can trace the development and change in neighborhoods, particular blocks, or whole cities. UofL’s collection includes maps from all Kentucky towns and the dates range from 1867-1970.
Using the maps, students could explore why streets are named in particular ways, how land use has changed over time, how business has changed over time. How businesses used to be clustered and why. They could walk the current streets and compare them to the maps, noting changes or similarities. For example one map from 1892 in the Butchertown area of Louisville shows a meat packing plant and a brewery next to Beargrass Creek. Students could discuss why these businesses would have chosen that location, for example.
The level of detail on the maps is truly astonishing. “Textual information on construction details (for example, steel beams or reinforced walls) is often given on the plans while shading indicates different building materials. Extensive information on building use is given, ranging from symbols for generic terms such as stable, garage, and warehouse to names of owners of factories and details on what was manufactured in them. In the case of large factories or commercial buildings, even individual rooms and the uses to which they were put are recorded on the maps. Other features shown include pipelines, railroads, wells, dumps, and heavy machinery.”
The Sanborn maps could be used in conjunction with the digital Kentucky map collection available from UofL Digital Collections. Check out the Sanborn maps here: http://sanborn.umi.com/. Contact one of the Reference Librarians for help! 852-6747.
Part one referenced how you can take advantage of limiting searches to the full-text, reading the abstract, and using the Library Chat box to ask questions about the library. Part two lists some other ways to get the most out your search in EBSCO Academic Search Premier:
1. Perform a Title Search
The Title of a source is the first thing to which our eyes are drawn to determine if a source is relevant. When performing a title search you’re telling the database to find articles with a specific name in the title. This search works best when it’s narrowed down to a few words like, Harlem Renaissance, or with a phrase search like, “Mom’s Apple Pie”. You can even search a person’s name such as, ‘McDonnell Douglas’. Title searches are a useful way to discover what is available in the database with that name.
2. Email and Cite the Source
When you click on the title of any record (as shown above) there are several things to do including, emailing journal articles and getting information about citing the source in various styles like, APA and MLA. Doing this takes you into the record where on the right side is a list of icons including, Email and Cite as shown in the box below. The Email option is a convenient feature that helps you secure the citations of sources as you continue searching. While, the Cite option gives you clarity about how to format a source for your bibliography in one of the most commonly used citation styles.
FYI: When emailing articles, if the full-text (e.g., PDF or HTML) is attached to the article it will be sent to your email account. To see if the full-text is available, look next to the FindIt@UofL button within each record. If the full-text is not available only the citation of the article will be sent to your email.
The UofL Libraries has online access to ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Both databases are great resources for finding primary source documents—that is, first-hand accounts about a particular event or person—a variety of historical topics from the 19th to 21st century. Features in both include:
- Full-text access
- Option to limit searches by specific dates
- New York Times Coverage: 1851-2008
- Wall Street Journal Coverage: 1889-1994
Just yesterday I helped a student find information about sources discussing reparations payments for Japanese Americans internments during World World II and that of African and African Americans for slavery. To give you an idea of the type of information found here are two sample citations from the New York Times:
- HOUSE VOTES PAYMENTS TO JAPANESE WAR INTERNEES. By. Nathaniel C. Nash. Special to the New York Times. Sep 18, 1987. p. A15 (1 page)
- BLACKS PRESS REPARATIONS DEMANDS. By Thomas A. Johnson. New York Times. Jun 10, 1970. p. 49 (2 pages)
The New York Times is also a place to find information about the 1937 Louisville Flood:
- LOUISVILLE FLOOD STOPS ALL TRAFFIC; With Large Sections of City Underwater. New York Times. Jan 23, 1937. p. 2 (1 page)
- LOUISVILLE FLOOD UPSET UNIVERSITY; Hundreds of Refugees Housed. By James Morgan Read. New York Times. Feb 14, 1937. p. 47 (1 page)
The Wall Street Journal is terrific place to find historical financial information such as that on the 1929 Stock Market Crash. Below are two sample citations:
- EMPLOYMENT GAINS CITED BY HOOVER; President Says Worst Effects of Stock Market Crash Will Have Passed in 60 Days. Wall Street Journal Washington Bureau. Mar. 8, 1930. p. 1 (2 pages)
- CORPORATE TRUST SHARES; More Than 95% of Stock Issued Sold to Public After Market Crash. Wall Street Journal. Jan 20, 1931. p. 8 (1 page)
Both databases are packed full of fascinating historical information including, some articles with beautiful black and white photos. You can access them in the Databases A-Z list under the letter “P”.
Take a look and see what you find!
When searching in a database like, EBSCO Academic Search Premier, the normal process many of us go through reads like this:
- Type in a search term.
- Look through the results for relevant titles.
- If nothing useful is found, repeat steps 1-2.
Step 3 is where many can overlook the need to seek out areas that reveal more information about the source or ways to narrow the search. What’s useful about Academic Search Premier are the features that help you determine more about the relevance of a source by doing the following:
A. Limit Results to Full-Text and Scholarly Sources
Students and faculty, we know your time is important. Limiting to the full-text gives you access to the entire work—this is what most searchers need in a timely manner. The scholarly source option takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out which sources qualify as scholarly. More information about scholarly sources can be found on the Peer Reviewed 101 blog here.
B. View the Abstract by Clicking on the Magnifying Glass Icon
When searching for information the title plays a critical role—it’s like the online curb appeal that draws us in to indicate if a source is relevant. Still, title’s can be misleading. Therefore, something else you can do is click on the magnifying glass icon in each record to view the abstract, which summarizes what the article/book is about. This extra information further clarifies whether the source is related to your topic.
C. Type Questions about the Library in the Red Library Chat Box
Technologies, like databases, are great. But, when they don’t work or there is confusion, the human touch is invaluable. If you have questions while searching just type your question in the Library Chat box, which is visible when searching, and a Reference librarian will respond. Library chat runs Monday-Friday, 10am to 5pm. We can answer questions about databases or other aspects of the library.
These are ways to get more out of your searches in Academic Search Premier.
When you need to find a scholarly journal article in a database, do you know what that means? For an explanation about scholarly sources visit the Peer Reviewed Sources 101 blog here. As for databases, well, there are many things we can say about databases but for the sake of simplicity keep these things in mind:
1. Databases are accessible from the library’s webpage under Databases A-Z. Some examples include, JSTOR, IEEE, and PsychInfo.
2. Databases provide access to sources like, journal articles, magazines, and newspapers. Hence, as tools their function is as collections where faculty and students go to find academic materials.
3. Unlike search engines such as, Google and Yahoo, whose content is available from any computer with Internet access, many databases require a paid subscription by the UofL Libraries to access–this is why when you’re searching in databases from an off-campus location login with the ulink I.D is required.
Here are a few places to begin your search for scholarly articles:
It’s a favorite among students and faculty due to its reputation of being a main hub for scholarly materials. The majority of journal articles and book reviews are available in the PDF full-text. JSTOR is useful for locating information across a range of topics including, education, history, religious studies, and the humanities.
Related databases: Academic Search Premier, ProQuest, WorldCat Local
Use this database when searching for information on psychology, nursing, social work, and linguistics. One useful feature is the option to limit searches based on research methodology such as, empirical, quantitative, and qualitative studies. Coverage of items published range from 1887 to 2012. Citations and summaries of book chapters, dissertations and technical reports are also included.
Related databases: Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection, CINAHL, MEDLINE
Really! What does Google have to do with scholarly sources or databases? Well, at times, quite a bit. Google Scholar is also a useful place to find scholarly journal articles. What’s great about this is many of the articles are accessible in the full-text and are linked directly from the library’s databases.
You can find more subject specific databases on our Subject Guides page here. If you still have questions about finding scholarly sources contact an Ekstrom Reference librarian at (502) 852-6747.
We’ll be glad to help you!
Newspapers represent a medium where readers can experience more of the native flavor of places like Louisville or New York. The dialect of the people, events, and local stories of daily life are covered in ways that is sometimes beyond the reach of content found in magazines or journals. African American newspapers are part of this rich tradition.
The first African American newspaper published was, Freedom’s Journal in 1827, according to the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895 (p. 182). Developed with an emphasis on reporting about life in the black community, black newspapers became a platform not just for local news, but served the “social, moral, and intellectual” activisms of its day (Finkelman, 2006, p.182). As a result, black citizens were able to stay informed; a noteworthy point considering the various periods of hostility in America, whether politically or socially, toward African Americans. While, the flow of information today is not as restricted as those that marked the Antebellum and post-Civil War period of the 19th century, and Jim Crow during the 20th century, the function of current publications of African American newspapers remains similar to those in previous centuries.
Availability of African American Newspapers in the UofL Libraries:
- Available in Print and on microfilm.
- Weekly African African newspaper published in Louisville, Kentucky in 1933.
The Louisville Defender photographs collection is also available in the Photographic Archives, located on the ground floor of the Esktrom Library. Or, call them at (502) 852-6752.
2. African American Newspapers: The Nineteenth Century
- Available online in the Databases A-Z listing under the letter ‘A’.
- Full-text narratives of African American life in the 19th and 20th centuries. Coverage from newspapers such as, Freedom’s Journal and the Frederick Douglass Paper, are included.
3. African American Newspapers (1827-1998)
- Available online in the Databases A-Z listing under the letter ‘A’.
- Full-text coverage of cultural life and history of African Americans in the 1800s.
Additional resources:4. The Frank L. Stanley, Sr., Papers 1933-1985 Frank L. Stanley Sr. was editor, general manager, and publisher of the African American newspaper Louisville Defender for thirty-eight years. Includes Stanley’s personal papers from the period while he was editor of the Louisville Defender, as well as office records of the Louisville Defender newspaper. Location: University Archives & Records Center, Ekstrom Library, 4th floor 5. Book: Pride, A. S. (1997). A History of the Black Press. Howard University Press: Washington, D.C. Call Number: PN 4882.5 .P75 1997 Location: Ekstrom Library, African American Collection, 2nd floor 6. Book: Finkelman, P. (2006). Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619-1895: From the colonial period to the age of Frederick Douglass. Oxford University Press: New York. Call Number: PN 4882.5 .H87 1992 Location: Ekstrom Library, Reference stacks, 1st floor
According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), a cruciverbalist, is a person who compiles or solves crossword puzzles; a crossword puzzle enthusiast.” Yes, just like the cartoon guy in the picture on the right. For all the word lovers or those looking for a quality English dictionary, you can find this word and many others in the Oxford English Dictionary online in the library’s Databases A-Z list under the letter “O”; as in oblectation.
The OED is also available in print. Just take this call number, PE1625.O89 1989, and ask for it at the Ekstrom Reference Desk on the first floor. We’ll be glad to help you find the book on the shelf.
Happy word sleuthing!