Category Archives: Uncategorized

Goodbye LexisNexis, Hello Westlaw

If you use LexisNexis to find business and legal information, there’s a change coming to our database lineup that you’ll want to know about. Our access to LexisNexis will end on July 31, 2015. Earlier this year, we purchased Westlaw, a database that also provides business and legal information. If you’ve been using LexisNexis for your research, give Westlaw a try. If you have any questions about using Westlaw (or any of our other databases, for that matter), you can call, email, or chat with a Reference Librarian by visiting

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Alaska’s Flora and Fauna

What is that bird I hear every morning? Is that plant poisonous? How many kinds of edible berries are there in Alaska? Where is the best place to look for mushrooms?

For answers to these and other questions, take a look in the Library’s catalog for books, field guides, handbooks, and much more on the plants and animals found in Alaska.

Don’t forget that ARLIS has a variety of these sources as well.

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Papers of the Founding Fathers Are Online

Using Founders Online, you can search through and read the correspondence, diaries, and other papers of our founding fathers: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton. The website is produced by the National Archives’ National Historical Publication and Records Commission and the University of Virginia Press. Enjoy reading what the Founders wrote and discussed during the first draft of the American democracy!

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Alaska Resources for Teachers

Are you aware that you can access Alaskan themed curriculum kits with an environmental education, natural or physical science focus?  Simply come to the UAA/APU Consortium Library with your UAA/APU ID or a Municipality library card, walk into ARLIS (Alaska Resources and Library Information Services) located on the first floor and you will be able to access a myriad of materials that will enhance your curriculum and provide sensory opportunities for students in K-12.  For more information click here.

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Celebrate 75 years of MathSciNet

MathSciNet, the comprehensive database covering the world’s mathematical literature from the American Mathematical Society, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.  The database includes reviews, abstracts, and citations for much of the mathematical sciences literature, with over 100,000 new items added every year.  Coverage goes back to the early 1800s.


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SLED Resources

It’s a great feeling at Commencement to walk across that stage and receive your diploma after years of toil and effort, as many associate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral students will do this May. And I’m sure that many students have grown accustomed to using at least a few of the many databases that are available through the Consortium Library. But after graduation?

Well, you’ll still be able to come into the Library and sign in as Guest to use those databases, but you’ll no longer be able to get to them from home and off-campus because our licensing agreements only include on-campus use and current students, staff, and faculty. This is where – as new alumni and Alaskans – you really need to know about one of the best-kept secrets in Alaska, SLED: the Statewide Library Electronic Doorway. You can find a link to SLED at the lower right of the Library’s home page, or go here:

SLED’s home page is a sort of resource control panel; clicking on one of the 12 labeled images will take you to a variety of databases that are paid for by the State for ALL Alaskans, not just university people. What if a database asks you for a logon and password? Look beneath the images for database assistance. And if you don’t want to figure out which of the images would be best for what you need, you’ll find a search box above them.

Are these useful databases? Many of them are ones we use all the time in the Consortium Library, such as Academic Search Premier. Others, like MasterFile Premier, are more public library-oriented. Which is good, because – need a new fridge or a lawn mower? – you’ll find things like Consumer Reports in full text in MasterFile Premier. You’ll also find databases for language learning, auto and small engine repair, genealogy, and many other subjects in SLED. Thinking about going on to graduate school, or perhaps you need to take the PRAXIS test? In the Testing and Education Reference Center database, you can find preparation materials for things like the GRE, the MCAT and LSAT, CLEP, PRAXIS, TOEFL, U.S. Citizenship, and other tests. There are also databases for our younger population, such as Searchasaurus, the ever-popular Live Homework Help, and Teen Health & Wellness – which is not just about teenagers, but is actually for teenagers.

SLED has more than databases. One of the 12 images (and a delightful place to browse) is for Alaska’s Digital Archives, created from the collections of libraries across the state for the 50th anniversary of statehood. It includes not only photographs, but also short films and oral histories.

So why is it called SLED? Steve Smith, who led much of the early work on SLED, said that he and his kids had gone sledding not long before the service needed to be named, and that they’d had such a wonderful time that they just wanted to go sledding again and again. He named the service SLED in that same spirit, in the hope that Alaskans would find SLED to be such a wonderful and vital resource that they, too, would want to go SLEDDING again and again. And in the case of this particular SLED (and thinking back on our last two winters), no snow is required!

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Census Data Workshop

When I drove to work the other day, I was one of about 10,000 people in Anchorage who left for work between 8:30-8:59 AM. I chose not to leave home between 7:00-8:29 AM, when around 60,000 people in Anchorage travel to work, most of them in a vehicle that they drive alone. Good data can inform everything from your daily commute to salary negotiations for your first job after graduation. Tables B08301 and B08302 of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, for example, provide information about work commutes for the geographic location of your choice.  You can search for this information through American FactFinder (AFF), one of the main tools for finding data from the US Census Bureau. AFF allows you to search for information about communities, housing, the economy, population, and much, much more.

If you’d like to learn more about Census Bureau data and the tools used to access it, reserve a seat for the Consortium Library’s census data workshop on Friday, April 24, 2015. A data dissemination specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau will lead the workshop in room 309 of the Consortium Library. There will be two sessions: Demographic and Household Data from 8:30 AM – 12 PM, and Economic and Business Data from 1:30 PM – 5 PM. You can attend one or both sessions in person or online through Blackboard Collaborate. Reserve your spot by April 22 using this link:

Session #1: Demographic and Household Data (8:30 a.m.–noon AKDT)

This session will highlight data from the main demographic programs of the Census Bureau, the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey. Topics include:

• How to start a data search

• Census Bureau demographic programs

• Census concepts

• Accessing the data

• Tips for grant writers

• Presenting the data

• Sources and resources

• DIY exercises (facilitated)

Session #2: Economic and Business Data (1:30–5 p.m. AKDT)

This session will cover the rich sources of economic and business data from the Census Bureau and will demonstrate how to combine economic and demographic data. Topics include:

• Economic concepts and terminology

• How economic data are organized

• Economic programs from the Census Bureau

• How data are used

• Data for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and researchers

• Resources

• DIY exercises (hands-on)

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What is a review of the literature?

Do you have an assignment where you need to complete a literature review on a topic but are not sure what literature reviews are or how to find them?

A literature review examines the significant works (books, scholarly articles, dissertations, and other works) on a particular issue, area of research, or theory and provides a critical evaluation or analysis of each work in relation to the problem or topic being investigated.

To learn more about literature reviews and the specific search techniques to use within a particular database to find them, see the Library How-to Guide entitled Literature Reviews.

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For all your Engineering research needs…

Try Compendex!

Compendex is the most comprehensive database of scientific and technical engineering research available, covering all aspects of engineering disciplines. It includes millions of citations and abstracts from thousands of engineering journals and conference proceedings from 80 countries, and covers well over 120 years of core engineering literature.

Browse indexes are available for searching by author, author affiliation, source, publisher, and subject terms.


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Dissertations & Theses Full Text

Dissertations & Theses Full Text from Proquest is the world’s most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses. The database offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works. Each dissertation published since July 1980 includes a 350-word abstract written by the author. Master’s theses published since 1988 include 150-word abstracts. You can also find UAA dissertations and theses in this database. There are numerous search options, such as searching by keyword, subject, author or institution. To locate this database, go to the main Consortium Library home page. Then select Databases and type in the title of the database or simply select “D”. Now select Dissertations & Theses Full Text.

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