Blog Assignment #4

I forgot to post the assignment last week! Mea culpa. Please do contribute this week’s assignment by class time on Wednesday February 21. It’s exacty what we’ve been doing, anyway.
Please post here everything you listed on your Database Exploration worksheet for the database you explored. Also, as usual, reflect on this particular research exercise, and on your research process in general. Be sure to read everyone else’s database reports to see if their databases might be useful for you.

    • Patrick Proctor
    • February 19th, 2007

    I explored a database called Medline. It is owned and published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, but the NCSU library licenses it through the National Center for Biotechnology Information because NCSU gains access to this database through a larger composite database known as PubMed. Like its name suggests, Medline focuses on biomedical literature, and is intended mostly for the use of medical researchers and doctors. The screen interface that allows access to the Medline is Entrez, an interface that is used in several other NCBI databases. As of February 2007, Medline contained 5,504,869 separate entries, taken from about 5,000 different sources. Materials indexed in Medline include journal articles, lab procedures, clinical research trials, legislation and regulation, continuing education, and new drug uses. All sources are dated from 1997 to present day. There are a great number of fields listed in the full record of each item, including title, author, affiliation, source, ISSN, keywords, language, publication year, publication type, format availability, country of publication, registry #, last revision date, record owner, and accession number. Despite all of this information, it if often hard to get to the full text of things you find in Medline, because it links to the full text through outside sources, many of which NCSU does not subscribe to. I was able to find a lot of the full texts by transferring my search to WorldCat, though. Medline is updated weekly, which is probably good considering its intended uses.
    My research is going very well right now. I have an endless list of sources, so I feel that I don’t have to worry about not finding enough information on my topic (Cancer risk from CT scans). I’ve even imported six Medline articles into Refworks for my project already.

    • Genevieve Pike
    • February 20th, 2007

    I know I will predominantly use the database PaperChem by Elsevier, Inc. for the majority of my research. I learned about this database in my paper science class. We had to use it for an assignment. It was also the prominent database listed on the NCSU library website under Wood and Paper Science-College of Natural Resources. Paper Chem is sponsored by Engineering Information and Elsevier, Inc. It includes, abstracts, journal articles, technical reports, conference proceedings and patents from 1967 to present. It has over 500,000 articles about pulp and paper technology for pulp and paper professionals. The database provides links to full-text for some articles both through outside sources and NCSU. The database provides an index so you can search by author, subject, or provider. In the full record for an item, accession number, title, translated title, authors, serial title, abbreviated serial title, volume, issue, issue date, publication year, pages, language, ISSN, Document type, publisher, abstract, abstract type, index terms, uncontrolled terms, and database are all listed. The database is updated and weekly and doesn?t really contain any special features to make it unique from other databases.
    I may also use the CAB Abstracts database, which was listed under Wood and Paper Science-College of Natural Resources too. It has abstracts, reports and articles for several science fields, not nearly as specific as PaperChem. It is an EbscoHost database with articles dating back to 1972.
    Finally, I may use the Web of Science database because my specific research question is heavily chemistry based. Web of Science may provide good background information and answers to various questions on specific chemicals I come across during my research.
    I didn?t have a hard time deciding on a good primary database since I had already used a very specific one in my paper science class. It will definitely be used very frequently since most of the information I need for my research will be in recent articles, patents, and conference proceedings as opposed to books. This part of the process was fairly easy. However, finding some of the specifics about PaperChem was more difficult, as I was unable to find everything.

    • Meagan Stewart
    • February 20th, 2007

    I explored the database Web of Science. Web of Science provides access to an array of sources from 1900-present. It contains over 22,000 journals, 23 million patents, 12,000 conference proceedings, 5,500 websites, 5,000 books and 2 million chemical structures. It contains articles from over 230 academic disciplines. The database consists of three smaller databases: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)–1900-present, Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)–1956-present, Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI)–1975-present. I focused my research on the Science Citation Index Expanded database. Thompson ISI is the database publisher, and the library licenses the database from Thompson as well. ISI Web of Knowledge provides the screen interface for searching the database.
    Science Citation Index Expanded covers a wide array of disciplines, the majority being in the sciences. Some examples include Neuroscience, Biochemistry, Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Psychiatry, Surgery, Mathematics, and Medicine. The primary users of SCI Expanded are researchers interested in science, medicine, or technology related fields. The Web of Science database as whole cites 20 million users from over 80 countries.
    The formats of materials indexed in this database include: article, review, editorial material, note, meeting abstract, correction, letter, news item, discussion, and book review. There are over 5,900 source titles in SCI Expanded, from over 150 scientific disciplines, from 1900-present. The database is updated weekly?over 19,000 new records and 423,000 new cited references are added per week. It also provides links to find full text through NCSU and view full text options. The record details contain a link for related records, a ?keywords plus? cateogy, and a way to refine your subject categories, but the interface does not have a thesaurus. Within the full record for an item, the information given is title, author, source, document type, language, cited references, abstract, author keywords, keywords plus, addresses, e-mail addresses, publisher, subject category, IDS #, and ISSN.
    For special interface features, the Web of Science interface offers a Distinct Author Identification System, which allows you to search for papers based on the author?s name. The database also offers ?Cite While You Write? so you can cite as you write your paper, and the ?Analyze Tool? that helps you to determine the most prolific authors for a topic and find the institutions that have published most in a specific field. ?Cross searching? is another feature that Web of Science offers; it lets you simultaneously search all records across all the ISI Web of Knowledge resources that you subscribe to, your library’s holdings and freely available databases.
    Since my research topic is primarily in the science, technology, and medicine area, I found three databases that were focused in this area: Web of Science, PubMed, and Engineering Village. I searched ?neurodegeneration,? ?Alzheimer?s disease,? and ?nerve degeneration,? and at each database and found very specific results that were on target for my research question. I found these databases by looking under ?Physical Sciences? and then clicking on ?Science and Technology.? I think all three of these databases will be very helpful in locating specified information for my research question.
    Engineering Village is a database for information specialists, professionals, and researchers working in the applied science and engineering fields. Engineering Village is broken down into 5 databases, each one being updated weekly. As for special interfaces, the database offers many options for querying: Quick Search, Expert Search, Easy Search, Thesaurus, and Ask an Expert. It also offers a program called ?Tagging? which is user-defined taxonomy, and the user can create groups by inviting people with the same research interests to join a group where they can share records.
    PubMed is a database that provides access to citations from biomedical literature. Publishers participating in PubMed electronically submit their citations to NCBI before they are published or at the time of publication. It provides access to bibliographic information from both MEDLINE and OLDMEDLINE, which contains bibliographic citations and author from more than 5,000 biomedical journals in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. The database is updated daily (Tuesday through Sunday). Searches can be limited or indexed, and the user also has the option of saving a history, using a clipboard, and viewing details about his/her search. Also, NCBI?s website offers way to search in its partner databases, or all databases at once: All Databases, PubMed Nucleotide, Protein, Genome Structure, OMIM, PMC, Journals, and Books.
    I found Web of Science to be broader than the other databases, but it offered more special interfaces for the user that could prove to be helpful while writing the paper. PubMed seemed to be to most specific to my topic, and offers many specific ways of searching. Engineering Village does not seem as specific to my topic, but I am intrigued by the ?tagging? feature it offers.
    In my research process, the next step for me is to sit down and read through all the materials I have collected and gain further knowledge on my question. I have many books I have obtained through TripSaver and many articles on Refworks, so now it is all about finding the time to sit through and read through everything I have accumulated. I am expecting my research question to become altered or more specific as I move ahead in this direction.

    • Diana Tysinger
    • February 20th, 2007

    One important database to chemical engineering is Compendex. It has been mentioned in other of my classes as the place to search for chemical engineering information. A librarian came to one of my chemical engineering classes and discussed this database specifically. This database is comprehensive from 1887 to the present and is updated weekly. Compendex has over 9 million entries. On fullerenes alone it had 12,094 entries. It is relatively easy to use,
    but not the most appealing looking interface. It also has no full text entries which is rather irritating.
    The Knovel Science and Engineering Databases are useful but not in the same way as Compendex. They have more physical properties and tables than research papers. This is a good reference to help understand the scientific reports. I found this database by using the library and searching the ?database by subject? for chemical engineering. The %
    relevancy rating on the interface is nice so you know how closely the database matches the keywords.
    I searched Compendex using the search string ?Buckminster fullerene? and found the Fullerenes and fullerites: new forms of carbon article. It is a good general synopsis of the different types of fullerenes and what shape that they form. Although it was published in 1995 it is still useful as background information. It also has an extensive reference list where I may be able to discover more sources. I think that most of the uses for the fullerenes would be in newer works, but I could be wrong and so it is worth checking out.
    Searching Knovel with ?fullerene? as a keyword produced 41 results including The Handbook of Carbon, Graphite, Diamond and Fullerenes. This lists basic properties, and probable uses in general terms. I think that is useful for coming up with new kkeywords for my search strings. It?s also helpful to be able to see the actual physical properties described so I can better understand the effects of the experiments.
    Searching in the collection I discovered the journal materials science forum. In that I found a conference proceeding that had many articles on fullerenes. It has many papers and is hard to sort through. I did find The Nanoscience of Fullerenes by E.F. Sheka. It is a modern overview of research in the fullerene field.
    ?Pierson, H.O. (1993). Handbook of Carbon, Graphite, Diamond and Fullerenes – Properties, Processing and Applications. (pp. 356-373). William Andrew Publishing/Noyes.
    ? Kraetschmer, Wolfgang. Fullerenes and fullerites: new forms of carbon 1995
    ? Uskokovi*c, Dragan P., Milonji*c, Slobodan K. and Rakovi*c, Dejan I. Recent developments in advanced materials and processes : selected papers presented at the 7th Conference of the Yugoslav Materials Research Society, held in Herceg, Novi, Serbia and Montenegro, September 12-16, 2005 2006

    • Dylan Selinger
    • February 20th, 2007

    I found the database PsychINFO through the NCSU catalog. I did a search for my topic and found that the database came up with some articles that were relevant to my topic. I then explored the database a little more thoroughly and found that it actually has a wide variety of articles that may help me in my research. The American Psychological Association is responsible for creating PsychINFO, and it is distributed by Ebsco Publishing. The database covers subject areas such as languages, population, developmental processes, psychology, education and various other topics. It seems that the database would be most primarily used by doctors and experts. It contains 2.3 million entries or records, and has over 2,100 periodicals in 25 languages. PsychINFO contains books, chapters, journals, and dissertations since 1887. One problem with the data base is that many of the articles are not available in full text, so they are essentially worthless. It does have a subject terms list which is helpful to know what to look for, and it includes many fields in an items full record.
    Finding this database is very helpful for me, because I will be able to actually start on reading some material relating to my subject and get underway with my research, Hopefully it will allow me to develop a more comprehensive list of search terms, and get a better idea of what i want to talk about in my paper. Other than that, my research is going well, I am still frustrated at the lack of books NCSU has on my topic.

    • Nikki Harris
    • February 20th, 2007

    I investigated the database of Meterological and Goeastrophysical Abstracts. This database will be very useful for my research topic, and another database I can use is INSPEC. The American Meterological Society created the database and CSA is the “database vendor.” This database covers a wide range of subjects, including world literature on meterology, climatology, atmospheric chemistry and physics, physical oceanography, hydrology, glaciology, related environmental sciences, meterological observations, and weather forecasts. Obviously the primary users of this database are meterologists, environmental scientists, climatologists, and atmospheric scientists. The database has 348, 361 entries and 600 journal titles, conference proceedings, books, technicasl reports, and other monographs. The database also has 769 serial sources, covers material from 1974 to present, and is updated monthly with 850 new records added. If there is a full text online, full text linking takes you directly to the text. But if not online, you can go through the SFX link. The database has a thesaurus, providing descriptors for each search. The fields included in the full record are the database, title, author, author affliation, source, ISSN, descriptors/notes, abstract, publisher, DOI, language, summary language, publication year, publication type, classification, update, subfile, accesstion number, journal pages, volume and issue. This database was easy to navigate and provided useful info. The descriptors were very helpful in searching. It is also easy to put sources into refworks since there is a direct link to refworks on the interface.
    It is interesting to note that this database is fairly small. However, it contains relavent info for my topic and I can probably find more articles in the general science database. It is also good to know that there is another meterology database I can use for my research.
    So far my research process is going well. I am glad to know how to navigate the databases better than I did before. I am excited to read recent articles on my topic by searching these databases, so I can see the various opinions out there. My only major concern right now is finding someone to interview. Since I am not majoring in meterology, I have a feeling I will have a hard time finding someone to interview.

    • Maggie Hennessy
    • February 20th, 2007

    I researched the Compendex database. Engineering Village is responsible for creating the content of th edatabase. I think that either Elsevier Inc. or Engineering Village itself does the library license for Compendex. I couldn’t find any screen interfaces for searching.
    Compendex covers 175 disciplines and major specialties withing engineering. For example nuclear technology, bioengineering, transportation, chemical and process-enginnering, light and opticle technology, agricultural engineering, food technology, computers and data processing, civil engineering, materials engineering, petroleum engineering.
    Information specialists, progessionals and researchers working in the applied science and enineering fiels are the primary users of Compendex.
    There are over 9 million regerneces and abstracts in this database from over 5,000 jourtnals, conferences and technical reports. Information can be found as journal articles, conference preceedings, monograph chapters and reviews, dissertations, and patents (before 1970). Compendex indexes over 5000 journals. This databases indexes information from 1884 to the present and is updated weekly.
    I could not find any direct links to full-text articles, besides the SFX links through the library.
    Compendex has a thesaurus. Civil engineering-public policy and industrial management, and environmental engineer, hazardous materials, and marine pollution are fiels that are included in the full record for an item in Compendex.
    Compendex has an awesome panel on the right-hand side where you can limit the results by authore, author affiliation, controlled vocabulary, calssification code, country, document type, language, year, serial titla, and publisher.
    I also discovered LexisNexis Environmental and EIS:Digests of Environmental Impact Statements which may prove to be very helpful.
    As i look through these databases, I am finding more and more useful information. I didn’t think that i would be able to find so much information about NEPA. I’m really excited to really learn about this Act and it’s impact on all different aspects of development and engineering practices.

    • Myra Fulp
    • February 21st, 2007

    I found the Proquest Historical Newspapers database by clicking on databases under “search the collection” on the library’s main page. I then browsed through the databases that were listed in alphabetical order. This particular database caught my eye because I am researching the historical reporting of the 1918 Spanish Flu in national newspapers.
    The full name of this database is the “Proquest Historical Newspapers. The New York Times (1851-2003).” This database is copywrited by the Proquest Information and Learning Company and therefore is the organization responsible for creating the content of the database. The library licenses this database from the Proquest Company.
    The screen interface for searching the database was not given a name, but the user can choose between a basic or an advanced search of the database. Both allow searching using the “on this date”, “before this date”, and “from this date to this date.” The difference between an advanced and basic search is that the keywords in advanced can be searched for in several areas attached to each article such as the abstract, author, dateline, page, and section.
    This subject area this database covers is history. The articles and entries cover reporting on former current events, editorials, and even original advertisements. The primary users of this database would be historians/researchers looking for primary source information. The possibilities of research are endless for a historian using a newspaper because they could research the occurance of a specific event, they could find out people’s reactions or opinions to issues in editorials, or they could track how newspaper advertisements changed over the years.
    The one and only source used in this database is The New York Times Newspaper published daily from 1851-2003. All of the material covered is pieces such as newspaper articles or advertisements that appeared in this particular publication. I could not find the exact number of entries, but after scanning daily papers from several months, I have noticed that each paper averages anywhere from 300 to 700 entries for each day.
    This database is fascinating because it provides a pdf image of every individual article or entry and also provides a full page pdf map of the page that the article was on. This is helpful for keeping the article of interest in context. This database does not have a thesaurus or subject terms list. The fields included in the full record for an item are as follows: title, publication, date of publication, location of publication, article image, page map, abstract, document type, ISSN #, proquest document ID#, text word count.
    I would suggest this database to anyone researching historical events in this time period in the US, specifically the north east. However, the one caveat is that because this is a database of pdf images of the primary source, some of the original text is obscured beyond recognition. Although, considering the age of some of this material, most of the entries are in really good shape and are very helpful and interesting.
    As for my overall research process, I have decided that a complete overhaul of my original question accompanied by a conference with Dr. French will be invaluable to me in my completion of the assignment.

    • Amber Joyner
    • February 21st, 2007

    My database is Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO) which is published by Columbia University Press and Columbia University Libraries. Columbia Univ. Press also liscenses the database. The majority of the database covers international relations, history, and political science topics used mostly by university professors and researchers. I couldn’t find anywhere on the database how many records or titles the it contains, although it does state that the database is updated monthly with journal articles and working papers, so it probably contains a lot of titles. CIAO contains materials from books, journals, policy briefs and economic indicators, and working papers dated from 1991 to the present. All the articles I looked at on the database contained an abstract of the work with a link to a full length PDF version. I couldn’t find any thesaurus or subject terms on the database. The fields included in the full record are Title, Author, Publication Date, Publisher and Abstract. The database had a few interesting features including a “Find Similar” link within the article that provided a search of articles focusing on the same information. Also, the database had a series of maps in which you could choose up to three countries and up to three demographic characteristics to compare the various regions.
    Overall, I think this exercise was very helpful within the research page because it introduced me to a database/information that I probably wouldn’t have been able to access or even find other than through the library’s main page. The vast amount of information and variety of sources available on a database saves a lot of time from having to search out and read every single book on the topic. By making individual articles available for access makes the research process much more efficient by providing you with more specific information for what you need, rather than forcing you to scale it down as much yourself.
    So far, my research process is going smoothly. I have found several articles and books on my topic. I now have to begin organizing this information and determine what my actual thesis for the paper will be so I can begin formulating an outline of arguments and make sure my information is relevant.

    • Amy Stepp
    • February 21st, 2007

    My research topic falls under the title of biomedical engineering. So, I looked for my databases through the browse subject section. For biomedical engineering, they had ASABE Technical Library, CAB Abstracts, Compendex, MEDLINE, and PubMed. I chose to take a more detailed look at MedLine, which is a sort of subset of PubMed. The U.S. National Library of Medicine puts out this database, and CSA is the database vendor. CSA owns a handful of other ventures, including Refworks, which we are familiar with in class. The database focuses on biomedical literature and anything that really touches the medical sciences. This focus is targeted towards people researching in the medical field or professionals in the medical field, such as doctors. There are about 5.5 million records in the database with entries from approximately 3900 biomedical journals. Due to the nature of the material and the assumption that people in the medical field want the most recent news that is available, the database only references sources from 1997 until the present. This can be helpful when your research topic is a fairly recent hot topic, but can be difficult when you are trying to research a more archaic topic. The database has some helpful features, such as full-text linking for some of its articles and a thesaurus. Also, the fact that CSA also owns RefWorks probably encouraged the fairly easy mode of exporting documents that you can find on the interface. However, I found that this database was not the easiest one that I have ever encountered to use, and it can be difficult to really find the most appropriate resources or to even find copies of the sources that do seem appropriate.
    I felt that this exercise was interesting. It became beneficial to contrast the different databases in class, because then you could begin to realize the nature of databases for different fields, or even for different purposes. Before this, I just sort of chose a database on a whim and would try to use whatever it could offer me. Now, I realize that there are specific databases that I can use to match what I am trying to use them for.
    Overall, I feel that my research is coming along….okay. I have found research on different facets of my question, but nothing that connects the question as a whole (which is good, I guess, considering this is supposed to be actual research). I have just really felt that my research process as a whole hasn’t been cohesive, though, because of that. I am just continuing to search out more journal articles (that’s really the only resource that can give me insight on my topic) and see more of what’s out there.

    • Joseph Barton
    • February 21st, 2007

    My research involves, but is not limited to textiles. So naturally I wanted to see what a textile database would offer for my research. I went to the library?s website, clicked databases, clicked T (for textiles), and found the Textile Technology Index. EBSCO Host creates the content of this database and the database vendor is EBSCO Industries. The textile database subject areas range from textile design, to manufacturing, and to engineering and chemistry. I would say, from looking at the content of the database, that the primary users of this database would be researchers of chemistry, engineering, physics, biology, as well as mill owners who would like to improve their manufacturing processes. The database contains over 336,000 entries from 400 different titles of periodicals, books, conferences, theses, technical reports, and trade literature. The entries range from 1791 to the present. When searching the database, many entries will have direct links to the pdf full text of the entry right next to the result on the search results page. The results page also shows alternative wordings and technical description words of one?s search string. A certain result will be describe by each of the following fields: title, author, source, document type, subject terms, abstract, author affiliations, ISSN, DOI, accession number, and a persistent link to the record. An interesting feature of this database is that, after typing a specific search string, there are subject terms in the left column of the page that link to other disciplines that are relevant to the shown results page.
    I also found other databases that could potentially help me find relevant sources of information. I clicked on Find Articles on the library?s home page and chose the subject: Textile Engineering. I found at the top of the list Textile Technology Index as well as World Textiles and Compendex. From lecture on Monday, I heard from other students the databases they were using, and some of those databases that might be useful to me are Web of Science, Meteorological & Geoastrophysical Abstracts, and Applied Science and Technology Index.
    Glancing over these databases was very useful in narrowing my search. It seemed overwhelming of all the possible databases I would have had to search through to find good articles. These databases seem like a good starting place. When I am looking for a specific article on a specific topic, I now have a general idea of where to start searching.

    • Adam Nock
    • February 21st, 2007

    I researched the database ERIC, Educational Resource Information Center. The content is published by the US government and other sources and distributed by EBSCO. Anyone may access the information on the database. The subject matter is education and teacher education. The primary users of the database are administrators, the community, counselors, media staff, policymakers, practitioners, students, researchers, and teachers. the database contains over one million records of journals, abstracts, books, computer programs, product reviews, guides, legal documents, reference materials, speaches, tests/questionnaires, numerical data, and machine readable files. The database has over one thousand journals. There are links to the full text of entries at NCSU as well as pdf and html files for the public. There is a thesaurus to help search for records. Each records contains the fields source, publication date, descriptors, identifiers, abstract, notes, corporate source, sponsoring agency, language, contract number, number of pages, publication type, availability, journal code, entry date, accession number, persistent link to the record, database, and citation. A special feature that I found was that the records are also organized by intended audience.
    This database will be very useful to my research because it is a very encompassing databse with many types of sources and a lot of information.

  1. 1. Database name: Compendex.
    2. Org. responsible for databse: Engineering Village
    3. Database vendor: Engineering Village
    4. Names for search functions: “easy search”, “quick search”, “expert search”
    5. Subject areas: Engineering
    6. Primary users: Academic engineering types
    7. # of records: 9 million
    8. Format of materials: journal articles, conference proceedings, technical reports
    9. Source titles: 5000 journals
    10. years indexed: 1884-present
    11. Full text links? None that I found, others said some articles had them. It’s the exception, not the norm, to find full text links.
    12. Thesaurus/related search terms list? No Thesaurus to speak of, but does bring up list of related search terms.
    13. Fields included? Title, Author, author affiliation, serial title, volume, monograph title, year published, pages, language, ISSN, doc. type, conference name and date and location and sponsor, publisher, abstract, misc database codes and fields.
    14. pretty help window :-). Seems to support boolean searching even though it doesn’t explicitly say so, find text and NCSU usually returns a hit.

    • Jeremy Bartucca
    • February 21st, 2007

    1. Applied Science and Technology
    2. WebSPIRS
    3. Ovid Technologies
    5. Civil Engineering
    6. Civil Engineers
    7. 1.3 M
    8. All except for patents
    9. 768
    10. 10/83 – 12/06
    11. yes, to other sites and in site
    12. yes
    13. AN, AU, AUT, CA, DE, DT, IS, JI, JN, LA, OT , PD, PEI, PY, SO, SU, TI, UD, URLZ, ZA, ZT
    14. citation finder

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