Top 10 Most Used Databases

Did you know that you can access more than 700 research databases through FSU Libraries? What is your favorite database? And what databases do your peers or professors use? When Google Scholar appears to be everyone’s go-to, why do you need to use research databases? Let’s talk about it.

Hello, my name is Kyung Kim. I am one of the Social Science Librarians working at FSU Libraries. An important part of my job is to inform the faculty and students about where to search for and access the literature they need for their assignments, learning, instructions, or research. I checked the stats and found the top 10 most popular databases on the Libraries’ Database A-Z page from October 2021 to September 2022- here’s what I found!

Top 10 Most Used Databases

Given the often seemingly endless hours you put into finding relevant articles or books for your research, knowing the pros and cons of the research databases and when to use which would enhance the quality of your academic life. Here are some quick tips on the top 10 databases!

Quick Tips! The Pros & Cons of the Most Used Databases

JSTOR is a good place to access peer-reviewed journal articles or books in the humanities and social sciences, but be aware that it often does not provide access to the most current issues. If you are looking for the latest research findings or the most recent publications on a topic, do not settle with JSTOR. See if the recent issues of the journal are available through the Libraries; if not, we recommend you use our Interlibrary Loan service to get the articles for free.

A multi-subject database, the Academic Search Complete is a good starting place if you do not know where to search, and the goal of your search is to select a few good ones by checking the breadth and not the depth of the literature on the topic.

If you are looking for the most cited papers or hot papers on a certain topic or in a subject area published in reputable, cream-of-the-crop scholarly journals, the Web of Science is your go-to. This premium database is also great for identifying a bibliographic network of who cites whom, but the search interface is not too intuitive. Besides, if you are an Arts and Humanities major, this might not be the database your professors use highly.

Do you want to search multiple databases all at once? This so-called “federated search” is available at the EBSCOhost and ProQuest Databases. EBSCO and ProQuest are two of the leading providers of academic research databases where you can search scholarly articles, eBooks, images, reports, etc., from Anthropology to Zoology. Through the FSU Libraries’ EBSCOhost database, you can search 86 databases simultaneously, and at the ProQuest Databases, 92 databases. Use these databases when you are in the mode of searching for everything, everywhere, all at once.

But why bother when you only need articles or books published in your subject areas? The Top 10 List shows that FSU researchers tend to search the APA PsycInfo for psychology literature; the PubMed (NLM) for biomedical literature; the Business Source Complete for business, and the ERIC (ProQuest) for education.

Not on the Top 10 List, but the Social Science Premium Collection database is something social science dissertation or thesis writers might want to try. There you can search 55 databases in various social science fields simultaneously. The Libraries subscribe to many other specialized databases for the university community. Having free access to rich scholarly content through subscription databases is one of the privileges of FSU members!

So, when in doubt, ask your subject librarian to learn where to search first, what search terms to use, and how to get and organize the materials you need! The librarian might also give you time-saving tips, such as when to use extra caution in evaluating certain sources and how to take full advantage of Google Scholar as a springboard to discover hidden gems in the library databases. You can request a one-on-one research consultation with librarians and meet them online or in person.

Good luck and happy searching!

This blog post was written by Kyung Kim, Social Sciences Librarian at FSU Libraries.





 

Meet the Social Sciences Librarian for Education & Psychology

As a Social Science Librarian, I address the research, instructional, and collection needs of faculty and students. Most members in my department—Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities (SSAH)—focus on specific subject areas. I focus on the areas of Education and Psychology!

I provide patrons with assistance on their research journey. This includes navigating databases on our library website, finding credible sources, performing citation chaining, and completing deductive and inductive searches. I love conducting research, and I am always excited to learn about others’ research. My research interests focus on systematic instructional design and organizational change. So, I have a lot of fun helping students in Education and Psychology with their specific research topics. It is a great way for me to learn more about current research in those areas.

I also teach dozens of instructional sessions every year. These sessions often focus on navigating the library website, writing correct APA citations, using citation management software, and locating relevant sources. I am a fan of active learning, and I provide students with an engaging learning environment where they learn by researching their desired topics. I find this creates a motivating learning environment and promotes retention!

Collection development is one of the responsibilities of librarians in SSAH. We keep the collection up to date with impactful research on current topics. Additionally, we concentrate on current trends in the field of librarianship and guarantee that our collection practices are beneficial to the research community. There are a lot of online students in Education and Psychology. I focus on purchasing online books and journals so our students and faculty can access the materials anywhere at any time.

I am always excited to chat about research and librarianship. Please feel free to contact me if you need any help!

This blog post was written by Jeff Phillips, Social Sciences Librarian at FSU Libraries.

Meet the Visual & Performing Arts Librarian

Leah Sherman

As the Visual & Performing Arts Librarian at Florida State University something I say often is that no two days are ever the same. And how could they be? I am the liaison to all six departments within the FSU College of Fine Arts (Art, Art Education, Art History, Dance, Interior Design, Theatre) as well as the FSU Master Craftsman Studio, the FSU Museum of Fine Arts in Tallahassee, and the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. For these programs, I am responsible for all things arts-related such as collection development and management, library instruction, and reference. In this work, I’m always learning something new, and that’s one thing I really love about my job!

While my academic background lies in Art History, I am constantly inspired by the variety of arts topics I see throughout each semester. In the same week, I can go from acquiring forthcoming publications in medieval art history to working one-on-one with Dance majors researching the evolution of breakdancing. I might also be collaborating with our Special Collections & Archives Division to purchase rare materials like artist books and illuminated manuscript facsimiles, or even consulting on a digital scholarship project like the creation of the Open Access arts journal, Athanor.

Probably the biggest project I’ve been working on lately is the formation of FSU Libraries’ Art in the Library program. This new initiative is all about bringing the visual and performing arts into the library for the benefit of the entire Florida State community. We are a student-centered program that aims to highlight the work of artists across our campus, regardless of their major or professional aspirations.

Over time, Art in the Library programming will include student art exhibitions, pop-up performances, hands-on art-making experiences, and hopefully so much more! One project we recently finished was the reinstallation of Karl Zerbe prints on the 2nd floor of Strozier Library. Also, starting this month you can catch our first student art exhibition People I Know by Art Education graduate student William Rowe at Dirac Science Library.

If you are an artist interested in exhibiting with FSU Libraries: applications for the spring 2023 semester are being accepted now through September 30, and all the information about our exhibition program and future deadlines can be found on our website.

Found works of Karl Zerbe

Finally, when I’m not working with the Fine Arts community at FSU, I am active in several professional organizations. The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and its Southeast Chapter (ARLIS/SE) are two groups that have been very influential in my development as an arts librarian. These organizations have given me amazing opportunities to advance my scholarship through conference presentations and publications, grow my leadership skills by serving on committees and in executive roles, and connect with colleagues and mentors from around the world. Besides my work in the physical library, I have personally found that my ability to contribute to and shape my field of arts librarianship through such professional service is extremely rewarding.

This blog post was written by Leah Sherman, Visual & Performing Arts Librarian at FSU Libraries.

Meet the Government Information Specialist

My name is Priscilla Hunt and I am the Government Information Specialist for Florida State University Libraries. I first became involved with Strozier Library as a student here on campus desperately in need of class materials and resources.  As I became more familiar with the library, I took a student position working at the circulation desk and assisting the Associate Dean of Research & Learning Services, and then later on a staff position where I currently reside. 

As the Government Information Specialist, I handle a wide variety of tasks such as collection development of government resources from local, state, federal, and international levels. Additionally,  I help manage the government information portion of the library website, create physical and digital displays, engage in consultations with the public, and supervise Federal Work Study students. The last of which became the recipient of the 2022 FSU Mores Award

My two most recent projects include participation in  a team effort to create a research guide on gun violence, and FSU’s “The Human Library Project.” It is our goal that the research guide on gun violence will help to facilitate conversation, teaching, and scholarship on controversial social issues such as gun violence as well as serve as a valuable resource for data and key information. Meanwhile, The Human Library Project will include individuals of various backgrounds that make themselves readily available to scholars on campus, as a human “book” to be checked out and interviewed as a means of exploring diversity through open minded conversation. The goal of the Human Library Project is to provide a safe space for our scholars to gain perspective and understanding of individuals with unique experiences and stories, while promoting the library as the hub of the intellectual community. 

To tell you a little more about myself I’d say that I have a passion for helping people, and I like to see people reach their full potential whenever possible. I believe that we all benefit when we take the time to learn from one another and that when one of us succeeds, we all do.  So, should you ever find yourself in Strozier in need of assistance, please feel free to find me and I will do my best to help! 

This blog post was written by Priscilla Hunt, Government Information Specialist at FSU Libraries.

Art in the Library: 10 Questions with William Rowe

William Rowe

FSU Libraries’ Art in the Library Committee organizes visual and performing arts programming in its spaces to enrich the library as an aesthetic and academic environment. A major part of this program includes exhibiting artwork drawn from the FSU student body on a semester-long basis.

William Rowe is a current graduate student in the FSU Department of Art Education. Rowe graduated with a BFA in Art at Florida State. People I Know, featuring a collection of recent paintings by Rowe, is on view at Dirac Science Library during the Fall 2022 semester. Leah Sherman, Visual & Performing Arts Librarian, and Art in the Library Chair had the privilege of interviewing Rowe about the exhibit. Below is the full interview.

FSU Libraries (FSU): Tell us about this show- give our readers a brief introduction to the work you are exhibiting with us this semester.

William Rowe (WR): These paintings all portray people who are personally close to me or they are self-portraits. Each work depicts a specific moment in time with the sitter, capturing the atmosphere of that moment. In the portraits of others that are included in People I Know, each of the subjects is a very close friend and or is my partner.

(FSU): What is your favorite work in this show? Tell us a little more about the story behind it.

(WR): Bedroom: I finished this one very quickly – just an hour or two – so it has painterly or messy energy. This aesthetic is satisfying to paint; it gives a nice, intimate vibe through its abstract atmosphere.
Staircase: Unlike Bedroom, this one took a long time. It was not a happy accident. It is gratifying in its own way, though, after putting many hours into its creation.

(FSU): What does your artwork represent about you? What message do you want to send out into the world through your art?

(WR): My paintings say that I like to paint and they say a lot about who I care about, as revealed in their subject matter. Each work carries a lot of the artist’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings projected onto the subjects. The goal with a lot of these works is to capture a feeling – an authentic moment in the painterly medium. Clear renderings of a moment, not fabricated narratives. These works are meant to show a real person in a real moment.

(FSU): How does being a student impact your creative process?

(WR): I made a lot of this work while in the BFA program – being a student pushed me to make more work. I find less opportunity now in grad school and have painted less in recent years. However, I have found a lot of creative time in the breaks between semesters.

(FSU): Is research part of your art-making process? If so, could you give us an idea of what that process is like? Where do you do research before you start making? Are there any specific kinds of information that are critical to your work?

(WR): My version of research is constantly looking at artists I like – not only following historical movements but also artists working right now. When painting I also work from photographic references. I often capture moments in photographs to revisit later in my paintings.

(FSU): Who are your biggest artistic influences?

(WR): Salman Toor is one painter working today that I admire. His work is abstract and not very realistic. The theme of many of his paintings speaks to his background as being Middle Eastern, queer, and an immigrant. He creates very complicated, complex narratives that center on these themes.
Henri Toulouse-Lautrec is a historical painter I am inspired by, especially his color palette and painterly style. I also enjoy his screen-printing and have done some screen-printing of my own as well.

(FSU): Do you have a preferred medium to work in?

(WR): Acrylic paint for sure, but I have done some work in oil. Overall I enjoy acrylic more because I find it better to work with, as a more flexible medium. I like working in gauche as well.

(FSU): How does art-making fit into your day-to-day life?

(WR): While I don’t paint for my current graduate degree, I work at Painting with a Twist and that gives me a lot of opportunity to paint outside of school. It’s a hands-on job where I practice copying and teaching. I also have my eye out for inspiration on a daily basis and I am frequently taking photos to return to later.

(FSU): What is your dream project or collaboration?

(WR): I would love to be part of a larger exhibition or project just dedicated to portraiture. I have exhibited before but not as often with many other painters, especially with painters more in dialogue with my own work around portraiture.

(FSU): Where can our readers learn more about you and your work?

(WR): Find more from William Rowe on Instagram @windforder

Are you an artist or a group of artists looking to exhibit your work? Interested in sharing your art with the FSU Community? Have a curated exhibit you’re ready to share? Submit an exhibition proposal for the spring semester by Sep 30, 2022. This semester the Art in Library Committee is accepting proposals to exhibit at the Dirac Science Library, on the main floor in the hallway surrounding the central stairwell and elevators. This space is viewed by hundreds of students, staff, and faculty a day and can accommodate 10-15 hanging works depending on the size. For more information and to submit your exhibition proposal, visit this link.

Florida Book Awards Launches 2022 Competition

The Florida Book Awards has announced its 2022 competition for the best Florida literature and established a Jan. 13, 2023, entry deadline.

2021 Florida Book Awards winner

Coordinated by Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards is the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program, established in 2006 to recognize and celebrate the best literature by Florida authors and books about Florida published each year.

The Florida Book Awards now includes awards in 11 categories and is introducing a Gold Medal for Poetry Chapbooks within the Poetry category.

Authors must be full-time Florida residents, except in the Florida Nonfiction, Visual Arts and Cooking categories, in which the subject matter must focus on Florida.

Books may be submitted by authors, publishers or members of the public in any of the categories: Cooking, Florida Nonfiction, General Fiction, General Nonfiction, Older Children’s Literature, Poetry, Popular Fiction, Spanish Language, Visual Arts, Young Adult Literature, and Young Children’s Literature. Descriptions of these categories and instructions for submitting nominations are available at floridabookawards.org. All books nominated must have a 2022 copyright date and an ISBN number.

Entries must be received no later than Jan. 13, 2023, but applicants are encouraged to submit their books for competition as soon as possible after their books are published. Winners will be announced the first week of March 2023.

Gerald Ensley Developing Writer Award- Nominations Open

Gerald Ensley

Nominations for the Gerald Ensley Developing Writer Award are also open. This award, established in 2019, aims to recognize a writer who has shown exceptional talent and the potential for continued literary success and significance.

Nominees for the Ensley Award must be Florida residents who have published at least one but no more than two books in any of the Florida Book Awards categories and exhibit demonstrated ability and promise for continued growth. The award is accompanied by a $1,000 prize. Nominations are due by Dec. 31, 2022.

Instructions for nominating a writer are listed at https://www.floridabookawards.org/ensley-award.

The Florida Book Awards involves library, literary and cultural organizations, including the State Library and Archives of Florida, Florida Humanities, Florida Center for the Book, Midtown Reader, and the Word of South festival. Learn more about the Florida Book Awards at https://www.floridabookawards.org/.

This blog post was written by Nikki Morse, FSU Libraries’ Event & Marketing Manager and Director of the Florida Book Awards.

Where Are They Now: Alumni Student Employees

Libraries are one of the top campus employers of students with a yearly average of over 70 student employees in the last five years. As one of the top employers: do we play a role in the success of students while they are employed with us, and does working in the libraries influence their career experiences after graduation? In the Fall of 2021, the Assessment Team at FSU Libraries found ourselves asking these exact questions. So, we embarked on a study to explore this with some of our former libraries’ employees from the past five years. 

After receiving IRB exempt status, we connected with six former employees of the FSU Libraries Assessment Department for this first study cohort. We wanted to know how former-student employees described their work experience at the library. What aspects of library employment did they perceive influenced their current career outcomes? What are ways we could incorporate what we learned to support current part-time employees with more meaningful campus experiences while at FSU? 

Most students in this first cohort were in STEM majors and were hired in data analyst roles.  They collected, prepared, analyzed, and reported on library data, created data visualizations, benchmarked survey results, presented papers and posters at conferences, and helped to coordinate statistical survey data for national and regional organizations.  

Benefits and drawbacks of working on campus & in the Libraries

Alumni employees found working on campus to be convenient—especially since the library was located near their classes. Participants said that they valued working on a beautiful campus, with real-life data, and enjoyed working in the pleasant atmosphere of the library.  Drawbacks or challenges included time management and shifting gears between classes and work duties, and sometimes they found themselves on campus from sun-up to sundown. Some reported cramped office space, while others wished they had gotten comparable pay with that of a corporate internship and found that working a campus job did not prepare them for the fast-paced work environment of deadlines and deliverables they now face in their current jobs. 

Highlights of their FSU experience

Participants of the study shared that they enjoyed learning how to collect, find, share and synthesize data. They found it particularly useful working and visualizing real-world data to solve problems. Often students have trouble relating the information they learn from a textbook to practical applications in the real world. This experience allowed our employees to practically apply the information they learned in a job setting. Another aspect participants cited as enjoyable was the opportunity to meet and connect with other campus partners on different projects. Being able to see how data and libraries could be integral to campus success gave a new perspective to our employees. A final highlight from this study was learning how many of our women participants have excelled in STEM fields post-graduation.  

Key experiences our participants had on campus

  • Building friendships, relationships, and mentorships with colleagues and other members of the FSU Community  
  • Engagement on campus in the LeaderShape Institute and Garnet & Gold Scholars Program 
  • Opportunities for professional development, including submitting and presenting conference proposals and papers  
  • Tutoring peers including student-athletes and at the Reading Writing Center on campus 
  • Participating in internships and experiences abroad at our international campuses 
  • Going to career fairs and speaking with recruiters about potential job opportunities  

Looking into the future & how we can improve the experiences of our part-time employees

Former student employees said that they would have liked to have collaborated more with other library departments and to have learned about other parts of the library. This is especially true for those who switched their career plans and decided to work in libraries after working here. For example, one alum shared that they wished they knew more about Digital Humanities.  They also wanted more opportunities to practice their leadership skills, such as leading meetings and giving presentations. 

Overall, this study was invaluable in helping us better understand the student employee experience and ways we could improve future students’ employment at the libraries. One pillar of the Libraries’ Strategic Plan is “Investing in People” and it’s become a top priority of the organization to continue improving the professional development opportunities for both our full-time and part-time employees. This study has opened the door for others, and we hope to do further studies with the various departments within the libraries that employ student employees. To view the PowerPoint presentation for the New England College Assessment Conference, follow this link.  

If you are a former alum employee and would like to participate in this study, please reach out to Kirsten Kinsley (kkinsley@fsu.edu).

This blog post was written by Kirsten Kinsley, Assessment Librarian at FSU Libraries.

FSU Libraries Call for Art Exhibition Proposals

Art in the Library is launching its first-ever call for Art Exhibition Proposals to display a student art exhibit at the Dirac Science Library this upcoming Fall 2022 semester. The purpose of the Art in the Library committee is to bring more art into the libraries, and enrich the library environment as an aesthetic and academic space. As part of this initiative, the committee is calling for artists to submit Exhibition Proposals for the upcoming Fall semester.

Are you an artist or group of artists looking to exhibit your work? Interested in sharing your art with the FSU Community? Have a curated exhibit you’re ready to share? Submit an exhibition proposal for the fall semester by July 1, 2022. This semester the Art in Library Committee is accepting proposals to exhibit at the Dirac Science Library, on the main floor in the hallway surrounding the central stairwell and elevators. This space is viewed by hundreds of students, staff, and faculty a day and can accommodate 10-15 hanging works depending on the size. For more information and to submit your exhibition proposal, visit this link

Continue reading FSU Libraries Call for Art Exhibition Proposals

Digital Book Display: Sex & Respect

Check out our digital book display created in collaboration with the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness’s Sex and Respect Week. To view events associated with each subject, click on the hyperlinked section headings. Follow them on Instagram for more events!

Continue reading Digital Book Display: Sex & Respect