Do you avoid business databases and reference books because you think they are packed full of financial ratios, P&L statements, or tax laws that will make your head spin? If so, you may be missing out on some interesting and useful information.
Although the word business originally meant simply the “quality or state of being busy,” over time it has acquired a monetary connotation, and is now generally considered “the activity of making, buying, or selling goods or providing services in exchange for money,” but not necessarily for profit. Thus, business encompasses almost everything we purchase, use, view, and participate in every day, and business resources cover everything from your morning coffee (Folger’s is the best-selling brand according to Business Rankings Annual, found on Table 15 in Ekstrom) to local banks, hospitals, and schools (see Louisville Business First Big Book of Lists 2012) to television shows (NCIS edged out Sunday Night Football for the most viewers during the 2012-2013 season according to Market Share Reporter, also on Table 15 in Ekstrom).
Looking for an auto repair shop near UofL? Use the custom search option in ReferenceUSA’s U.S. Businesses Database. Select “General Automotive Repair Shops” from the Major Industry Group list under Business Type, and “Radius Search” under Geography. Enter UofL’s address or zip code with the desired distance to get names, phone numbers and addresses of the closest repair places.
Starting a job search? Learn more about various industries and potential employers by using links on the Industry Profiles & Overviews and Company Profiles & Directories pages of UofL’s business research guide. Then use the company news links to stay up to date for your interviews.
Want to know which large charities are the most efficient in terms of converting your donations to charitable services? Check out ”Charity All-Stars” and “50 Largest U.S. Charities, by the Numbers” in Forbes, which is available through Business Source Premier.
Shopping for a new phone? Read the latest Consumer Reports reviews, also available via Business Source Premier.
 “business, n.”. OED Online. September 2013. Oxford University Press. 7 November 2013 <http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/25229?redirectedFrom=business>.
 “business.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/business>.
ARTstor is much more than great, high resolution images of art works. It’s a fabulous resource for many topics and can help you jazz up your paper or presentation. Here are some examples:
For your costume class you can find fashion images:
For a class on U.S. history, civil rights, sociology or African American history, you can find relevant images:
For an anthropology class, you might find this image useful:
For a class in biology or natural history, these images might fill the bill:
For a class in Political Science, perhaps this might be visual that says it all:
For Women’s History or Military History, you might need a picture of Eleanor Rigby – Lieutenant Commander Eleanor G. Rigby, that is.
Or you just might want to browse through a few cartoons from The New Yorker:
The bottom line is this: images can help you make your point. They can make your paper or power point look better. They can sometimes even get you a better grade.
And using images from the ARTstor database is smart for a number of reasons:
- There are 1.5 million to choose from.
- You can use them in papers, power point presentations or any time you need visuals.
- The images are very high resolution.
- Each image has metadata which means you can easily get the correct creator, title, date, size, place where the image is held, who to contact for publication rights and sometimes even annotations that add an explanation and context to the image.
Find ARTstor in the Databases A-Z list on the Libraries home page.
A help page for using ARTstor has video tutorials and other materials to help you get the most about of the database.
So, that big search box on many of the University Libraries webapges… you’ve used it to find stuff, but did you know that it can help you cite what you find? Just click the Cite/Export link in the top right corner as you’re looking at the record for a book, article, or other material you’ve found. Then choose the citation style that you’re using.
If you find an item of interest, you can share it with others using the Share button. Items can be shared via Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, and any number of other social media sites. This button is located to the right of the Cite/Export link mentioned above.
With WorldCat Local, you can also create a personal account and create lists for yourself. For example, I have created a list for myself of items that I’d like to read someday but don’t have time to get to right now. Lists can be public or private. In addition, you can track other people’s lists, save searches of your own, add tags to items of interest, and create a profile that can be either private or public as well. If you are a researcher who uses more than one library, you can add these institutions to your favorite libraries list. The sign in feature is located in the far upper right corner of the screen.
What if you need a children’s book in Spanish? Start with a keyword search, say for “girls” because you want a book about a little girl. Once you have the list of results, you can narrow using what are called “facets” or Refine Your Search options on the left side of the search screen. Click on the facet for “Spanish” under language and then click on the facet for “juvenile”. Voila! You find 3 books about girls in Spanish that UofL owns!
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.