Knowledge Handler

Information Sources & Information Sifting Techniques

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Location: Independence, Ohio, United States

Librarian at Indiana Wesleyan University's Cleveland Education Center.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Access My Library - A Pointer To Libraries

I tried using the service, which apparently it is based on a subset of full-text journal holdings from Infotrac Onefile. currently has no subject access and minimal search limiting capabilities (only exact title string, keyword search, date of publication). While Indiana Wesleyan is an Infotrac Onefile subscriber, IWU is not on its roster of academic libraries one can authenticate with to view the full text (Huntington College seems to be the only Indiana academic), which would make frustrating for most of our students.
Since Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma, OH) is on its roster of authenticating servers, I was able to access articles using a card from this public library. Full-text content can be printed or emailed, as with the traditional Infotrac databases. However, the citation information is INCOMPLETE!!! Very frustrating for any student. only returns a fraction of the results the same keyword search does on Onefile - this may be because this is a beta product. There may be cookie-based limitations on how this service may be used.
As I see it, the only positive result of this service is to direct students to their library. I believe the negative results will outweigh the positive - students (and faculty) may think this is the appropriate way to log on to library-provided Gale resources, and be disappointed in the weak searching and incomplete citations. Because it is a beta product there is hope that it will improve.
My suggestion for Thompson-Gale would be that accessmylibrary should not even provide fulltext results - just direct people to the libraries that are subscribers.

Information Seeking By Nurses

I recently read three articles on nursing information seeking behavior, all of which indicated that additional training of nurses in using databases is important.   As a librarian, the one I found most motivating was, Dee, Cheryl & Stanley, Ellen E. Information-seeking behavior of nursing students and clinical nurses: implications for health sciences librarians. Journal of the Medical Library Association. Chicago: Apr 2005. Vol. 93, Iss. 2; p. 213.   Even educated nursing professionals are neglecting to use controlled vocabularies/subject headings to focus their search.   As a result, they are having to sift through irrelevant information.   This discovery should change the emphasis in my teaching database skills.