Volume 2, #2 2006
This three-times-a-year newsletter is published by the Renton Technical College Library. It is intended to spotlight issues regarding the use of educational media—videos, DVDs, audiotapes, software, and other electronic resources. If you have any questions or suggestions for topics, please call the library at (425) 235-2331, or email Laura Staley at lstaley@RTC.edu .
This issue of Educational Media covers some resources—and ways to use them—that you may not have encountered before. For example, did you know that you can take advantage of:
Alert services: Automatically keep up-to-date with the latest journal articles on the topics you choose. See “Let the Library Databases Do Your Research” below. We discuss another way of using the online databases—to locate a source of plagiarized material— in “Did They Copy it From a Journal?” on page two.
Bookbag: Keep a list of those library books and videos you use in the classroom every year. See “Make Your Own Virtual Bookbag” on page three.
NoodleBib: Take the drudgery out of formatting bibliographies. See “NoodleBib” on page two.
Useful Web Links: We have a library web page for almost every RTC program. See “Check Out The Links” on page two. To see what we thought you might find useful as an instructor, see “Faculty Links” on page three.
Finally, we’ve scattered tiny tips for using these features throughout this newsletter. Learn how to renew your books online, or how to email catalog records to someone—perhaps when you’re helping a student by recommending a useful book or video!
It can be hard to do the research and reading necessary to keep up-to-date in your field—but the library databases can make it easier. You can use their automatic update services to learn about new articles, using searches you design.
Both EBSCOhost Health Source (which covers health topics on both the professional and consumer level) and ProQuest (which covers everything from health to science to politics and the arts) offer this assistance.
These services are very flexible. You can have a search run for a specific subject (“pollution control”) or a series of keywords (“Alzheimer AND study”). You can ask to be notified when a new issue of a particular journal is published, or you can ask for articles published by a specified author.
You can also specify how often the search is run; weekly, twice a month, once a month, once a quarter) and you can limit how long you want the alert to run.
To set up a search, go to the database page at www.rtc.edu/library/database.htm and select a database. Type in your search and modify it until you get the results you want. (If you would like some help tailoring your search, please call the library. We will be glad to assist you with this.)
In EBSCOhost, design your search in the Advanced Search mode. Then you will have to sign in to your free EBSCO account. (Or sign up, if you don’t have one. Aside from storing alerts, they allow you to stash past searches and bibliographies.) Then click on the middle blue button “Search History/Alerts”. Click on the link “Save Searches/Alerts” and select the search frequency and duration. And you’re done!
In ProQuest, after doing the search, click on My Research and “Set up an Alert”. You will be prompted to schedule your alert. You will get an email from ProQuest, asking you to confirm that you did request the search. Simply click on the link, and your search will be registered.
After the alert runs, and you get a list of articles, what do you do? You can find the full text of many of the articles in the databases themselves. Go to the library database page, select the database name, and click on the emailed link. (If you are off-campus, you may get a sign-in screen at this point—you will be asked for your last name and your library card number.)
And if the article isn’t full text in the databases, send the citation to Laura Staley in the library (x5679), and she will dispatch an Interlibrary Loan request to get you a copy of the article.
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