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Spring ’10 Library Research Workshops


Are you interested in a library research workshop for one or more of your classes in the upcoming spring semester? If yes, then please contact me as soon as possible to schedule the workshop(s). The Library has only one classroom and it tends to get booked up quickly at the beginning of each semester. Workshops later in the semester may be more beneficial for your students who can use their new research skills for their assigned papers.

Maybe you do not have the time for a library workshop, but you feel that your students could use some extra help? A research course guide is a practical alternative. Please take a look at some of the online course guides from previous semesters: art history, criminal justice, history, and sociology. Upon request I can set up a customized online research guide for your course. In the past I have also combined research workshops with online course guides in lieu of handouts.

Last but not least, remember to order books and videos early, so that they will be available in the Library when you or your students need them.

Here is my contact information:
E-mail: jutta.seibert@villanova.edu
Phone: 610-519-7876
Office: 1st floor, Falvey Library


Join the ICPSR Biennial Meeting online next week!

icpsrThe Biennial ICPSR Meeting will take place next week from Monday Oct. 5 to Friday Oct. 9. Please take a look at the program. This year’s meeting will be completely online, which means that you will be able to follow live presentations, ask questions and join online discussions from your office. No pre-registration is necessary. Log in via the Webinar Session Links in the program to join the online meeting at the time indicated.

Here is a small selection from this year’s program:

  • Highlights of 2009 Website – Web 2.0 Enhancements
    Oct. 6, 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    ICPSR Web managers will be present for a live chat/demo of the newly released ICPSR Web site (a prerecorded orientation will also be available for viewing).
  • Graphical Displays of Quantitative Information
    Oct. 6, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    This session will focus on the theoretical concerns and practical issues involved in using visual displays for quantitative information. We will discuss ways to, quite literally, look at your data.
  • Tools that Support Data Analysis
    Oct. 6, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    ICPSR provides an increasing number of tools that support data analysis. This session will provide an overview of them, including: variable-level searching, the sample characteristics tool, the recode syntax tool, subsetting tools, Quick Tables, the Bibliography of Data-related Literature, and data mapping tools.
  • Census 2010 & American Community Survey
    Oct. 7, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    Discussion of new Census products and information on Census 2010 and the ACS.
  • ADD-Health
    Oct. 7, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    In this session, we will describe access to and analysis of the Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The session will include a description of how to use the new restricted use contract system to acquire the 33 restricted use files and the public use files.
  • Using Data in Teaching (Panel)
    Oct. 8, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    This session aims to give instructors helpful hints for using data in teaching. Panelists will include social science faculty who actively use data-based activities in a wide range of courses. They will give participants a brief overview of what they do with their own students and the effects they see from these exercises, followed by a time for interaction among participants and presenters for sharing questions and ideas. Everything from tips for choosing a dataset or topic to creating and evaluating an exercise is fair game for this session.
  • Online Data Analysis Tools
    Oct. 9, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    The objective of this session is to provide participants with hands-on experience to inform them of, or broaden their knowledge of, the chief online data analysis tool used at ICPSR, Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA). Recent features of SDA include corrections to standard errors produced for studies with complex sampling designs. This session will provide an overview of the analysis programs offered by SDA and demonstrate some of the analyses that can be run using SDA, including highlights of the new features.
  • Quantitative Literacy: Assessment and Enhancement (Panel)
    Oct. 9, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    In addition to working on efforts to help instructors more easily bring data into their courses, ICPSR is involved in a project to assess the educational impact of such exercises on students’ quantitative literacy (QL) skills. This session will provide a discussion of what QL means, an overview of related student learning outcomes, and examples of assessment techniques. Panelists will include experts on QL and faculty who have designed and implemented assessment strategies to measure QL in their courses.


Did you know that you can search some of your favorite research databases simultaneously?

blog11Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA) makes it easy to search your favorite social science databases simultaneously.  Simply click on the Specific Databases link below the search boxes and select from Sociological Abstracts, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, NCJRS Abstracts, ERIC, PsycINFO, and Communication Abstracts. Next click on Continue to Search and your selection will be listed on the search page under Now Selected: Multiple Databases. Search results will be clearly identified by database of origin. Since not all these research databases use the same subject thesaurus, it is best to avoid subject (descriptor) searches while cross searching multiple databases.

Other helpful features are the export to RefWorks and the QuickBib options. Both can be found by clicking on the Save, Print, Email link from the results screen. QuickBib will format selected records into the citation style of your choice in a matter of seconds.

For more bells and whistles set up a My Research account with CSA. You can find a link in the upper right hand corner of the CSA interface. My Research is your gateway to research alerts via e-mail or RSS feed, a customized search interface, and groups of preferred databases. You can also save unlimited search results and search histories to your My Research account. The price? One more login and password to remember.

Comments? Please let us know what you think.


Fall ’09 Library Research Workshops

falvey_doorwayIt’s that time of the year again:  The fall semester is right around the corner and everybody is scrambling to finish his or her syllabus.  Please contact me as early as possible if you plan to bring your class to the Library for a research workshop, even if it will be much later in the semester.  The Library’s classroom tends to get booked quickly.  I find that research workshops are most beneficial when they are scheduled after students have picked their paper topics.

There may be no room in your syllabus for a library workshop, but you feel that your students could definitely use some extra help.  A research course guide is a practical alternative.  Please take a look at some of the online course guides from previous semesters:  art history, criminal justice, history, and sociology. In the past I have often done both, research workshops and online course guides in lieu of handouts.

Last but not least, remember to order books and videos early, so that they will be available in the Library when you or your students need them.

Here is my contact information:
E-mail: jutta.seibert@villanova.edu
Phone: 610-519-7876
Office: 1st floor, Falvey Library


Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

encyclVillanova faculty and students now have online access to the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures (Leiden: Brill, 2007). The Encyclopedia focuses on women and the civilizations and societies in which Islam has played an historic role. It is “an essential reference work for students and researchers in the fields of gender studies, Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, as well as scholars of religion, history, politics, anthropology, geography and related disciplines.” Over 1000 scholars from around the world contributed to the encyclopedia, among them Prof. Hibba Abugideiri who teaches in Villanova’s history department.

The Encyclopedia is organized thematically as follows:

Vol. 1: Methodologies, Paradigms and Sources
Vol. 2: Family, Law and Politics
Vol. 3: Family, Body, Sexuality, and Health
Vol. 4: Economics, Education, Mobility and Space
Vol. 5: Practices, Interpretations and Representations
Vol. 6: Index

The treatment of concepts such as orientalism, harem, and jihad is thorough but still comprehensible to undergraduate students. Each entry includes a bibliography which traces the scholarly literature on any given topic. Cross references are hyper-linked and easy to follow. Entries can be viewed in html or pdf formats, e-mailed and/or printed. Most entries are subdivided by geographic area, but not all geographic areas are systematically covered. A search of the full text of all entries can only be done through the Advanced Search feature. The Quick Search link, which can be limited to Search this publication only, searches only the titles of entries.

Some of the letters used to transliterate Arabic names and terms are not available on standard U.S. keyboards. Two examples are the letters kāf (ﻙ) and ḥā (ﺡ), which are occasionally rendered as ß and £ respectively. Scholars with an Arabic keyboard or those who are familiar with keyboard shortcuts can enter symbols such as £ or ß or can copy and paste them from other sources into the search box. Undergraduate students who are generally not familiar with transliteration issues may not grasp the limitations of certain search terms. Transliteration is also not consistent throughout the Encyclopedia and it is advisable to try different versions in order to catch all instances of a given term, e.g., Ibn Hanbal is also transliterated as Ibn £anbal

Links to the Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures can be found in the Library’s catalog, on the Gender and Women’s Studies subject guide as well as under E-Reference Resources (History, Multicultural Studies, Sociology).

Comments? Please let us know what you think.


Sage Brings Print Encyclopedias Online

encyc_race_ethnicity.jpgFalvey added over 70 new e-reference titles from Sage to its popular online reference collection.  Some of these titles were already available in print on the Library’s reference shelves, but most of the titles are new in Falvey’s collection and worth a closer look. One can browse the Sage e-reference collection by subject areas such as history, sociology, or criminal justice and search for keywords in individual titles as well as the complete collection.

The Encyclopedia of American Urban History, the Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice, and the Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods are some outstanding new titles in this collection. Among the titles previously owned in print are the Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice, the Encyclopedia of Social Problems, and the Encyclopedia of Social Theory, to name but a few.

Direct links to individual titles or to the complete collection can be added to WebCT as well as to the Library’s course guides. Links to individual entries are another possibility. A good example is Appendix A: Data on Race and Ethnicity in the United States, 1820 to the Present of the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, which includes 60 pages worth of data such as  persons obtaining legal permanent resident status by region and selected country of last residence, 1820-2006.

Noteworthy features of the Sage e-reference collection are a citation tool that offers a choice of three citation styles (APA, MLA and Chicago), numerous active URLs on the further reading lists, and the option to e-mail entries to any e-mail address.

Access to these titles is available via the Library’s subject guides (sociology, criminal justice, history), the E-Reference Resources list and the Library’s catalog.

Comments? Please let us know what you think.


New campus-wide access to the Chronicle of Higher Education through Falvey

news.gifFalvey now offers the university community online access to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators.” Widely valued for the timeliness and credibility of its news coverage, the Chronicle has won numerous awards for its coverage of political issues with impact on higher education. Popular features include the careers section with its job listings, annual salary surveys, and the scholarly productivity index, ranking 375 Ph.D. granting institutions. In addition, the online Chronicle offers exclusive daily news articles, podcasts and access to its digital archive dating back to 1995.

Because the site license includes off-campus access through LDAP (Villanova email ID and password) authentication, readers who already have a personal or departmental subscription may consider canceling it now. Those who still enjoy holding the print version of the Chronicle in their hands will find it on the periodical shelves on the first floor of the Library.  For quick, convenient access to the online Chronicle, bookmark the link found in the Library’s catalog.

Comments? Please let us know what you think.


The Gerritsen Collection of Aletta H. Jacobs (1543-1945)

Villanova faculty and students now have permanent access to close to 5,000 new primary sources on women’s history from around the world. The Library recently acquired a digitized version of the Gerritsen Collection. The original collection is housed in the Spencer Library at the University of Kansas and consists of more than 4,700 books, pamphlets and periodicals. The materials span four centuries, from 1543 to 1945 and 15 languages. English (British and American) documents are most heavily represented (over 2,000 titles), but German (929) and French (734) titles are strongly represented as well.

In the late 1800’s, Dutch physician Aletta Jacobs and her husband C.V. Gerritsen began collecting books, pamphlets and periodicals reflecting the evolution of a feminist consciousness and the movement for women’s rights. The Gerritsen Collection has since become the greatest single source for the study of women’s history in the world. For a more detailed description, see “The Gerritsen Collection.” by Janet Sharistanian et al. in Feminist Studies, vol. 3, no. 3/4 (spring-summer 1976), pp. 200-206.

Links to the Gerritsen Collection can be found under Databases A-Z as well as on the primary source tabs of the History and Gender & Women’s Studies subject guides of the Library’s web site. Individual catalog records for all individual titles in the collection with direct links to the digital documents will be added to the Library’s catalog in the near future.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to leave a comment or send an e-mail directly to jutta.seibert@villanova.edu.

Gerritsen Collection


New Encyclopedia of Social Problems

The Encyclopedia of Social Problems (2008) is now available at the Library.
Over 600 entries offer an interdisciplinary perspective into many social issues. The two volume set covers all of the major theories, approaches, and contemporary issues in social problems and provides insight into how social conditions get defined as social problems, and the ways different people and organizations view and try to solve them.

Here is a link to the Choice Review.


Picturing Women’s History

Did you know that ARTstor includes the Schlesinger History of Women in America Collection? This digital collection includes over 36,000 images  from Harvard University’s Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library, the leading national repository for women’s history. “These images represent the work of both professional and amateur artistic and documentary photographers, including the work of many women photographers as well as men.”

Click here to see a selection of images from the Schlesinger Collection, including pictures of Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton, and Susan B. Anthony. Browse through the images with the help of the arrows at the bottom of the screen. Click on the i-button for detailed information about the images.

To search the complete collection, please go to the Library’s homepage, click on Databases A-Z, select ARTstor and add the keywords schlesinger, harvard to your search terms. Alternatively go to Find and select Browse ARTstor by collection.

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Last Modified: March 11, 2009