New in the Labs: A Student’s View of Mendeley

You may have heard the word “Mendeley” around campus lately. One of our GSLIS students spent some time working with Mendeley to give his perspective on using it for his work. If you want to learn more about Mendeley, come take one of our library workshops.

Written by Rajeev Mathai

Mendeley is a free reference manager, citation manager, and research organizer. This web tool and website was initially a bit hard to figure out. However, once I became familiar with it, its many features were astounding.
Mendeley has a “live” text search which goes through all of the papers. It also has a feature to share and synchronize your library. In addition, Mendeley’s research database contains over 200 million documents. Through testing, I found Mendeley can work on an iPhone, iPad, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. It also offers access anywhere at any time to one’s citations and documents.
Mendeley requires a username and password. Once entered and contractual terms are agreed to, you are in! Setup takes only ten minutes. Mendeley is great for research in academic departments such as Business, History, English, and GSLIS. It costs nothing for 1GB of storage, and premium plans are available at a modest cost. Mendeley targets researchers and scientists in undergraduate, graduate, and PhD programs. It truly serves scholars and educators.
I think the Dominican University community can really benefit from this research tool. It is easy to use and a great research organizer. It will really help me to bring clarity to my own research. It also enables students to easily link to and learn from the expert research in their particular discipline. Mendeley really brings reference management to another level. Scholars will be able to organize their research libraries and in the process do collaborative work with others and discover current research statistics. With Mendeley researchers can now connect, share ideas, ask questions or start a discussion. It will also help academic library managers to gain insight into the way researchers work and use their library collections.

Rajeev is an August 2012 graduate of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Exciting new updates to study rooms

We’ve been listening to your needs for the group study rooms, and have made some changes to the policies for these rooms starting today.
The biggest things to note are that you can now reserve the study rooms for three hours (book up to a week in advance) and check out kits with dry erase markers and other office supplies you might need to finish your project.
Complete guidelines:
  • The group study rooms are now  for current Dominican University students only.
  • You must check in at the second floor help desk and show your Dominican ID.
  • Rooms may be reserved for up to three hours. You may book the room for an additional three hours if it is available.
  • A group is defined as two or more people actively using the study room. Individual Dominican University students may use the group study rooms if no group is currently using the room, but must vacate the room if a group needs to use it. Please be prepared to show your current Dominican ID.
  • All drinks must be in a spill proof container.
  • You must clean up after yourself and leave the group study room neat.
  • The white boards in the group study rooms are for your use. You may check out a group study kit, which includes dry erase markers, at the second floor help desk. Please be sure to return the kit to the desk. You are responsible for erasing the whiteboard before leaving the group study room.
  • If you vacate a study room for more than 15 minutes your reservation will be forfeited. Any items left unattended in the room will be removed and turned over to University Security. The library is not responsible for any items left behind or for loss of or damages to said items.
  • The group study rooms will be locked at 11:45 p.m. Anyone using these study rooms must leave when the first closing announcement is made.
  • Group study room users must abide by the Student Code of Conduct.

New electronic resources in the library catalog

HathiTrust logo1.2 million additional electronic resources, many of which you can access full text in one click, will soon be searchable right through the Dominican catalog. How is this possible? A group of over 60 research libraries formed a collective for digitizing books that are out of copyright or otherwise in the public domain (like government documents). This is known as the HathiTrust (hathi is the Hindi word for “elephant”) and relies on books digitized by the Google Books project and other sources. These books  have been available for some time through the I-Share catalog, but we wanted to make it easier to get you the electronic content you need for research. This means that you will see many of these records that you haven’t seen before when searching the catalog–in some cases they may be the majority of titles in your search.

Changing your search

You may want to search only books physically available in the library or otherwise owned by Dominican in your search.  In this case, you have two choices. After you’ve completed your search, you can click on any of the location links in the side bar to limit to Dominican locations. “Main Collection” will give you books physically available in the library, “Electronic Resources” will give you electronic books owned by Dominican–which will be new books still under copyright.

If you know before you start your search that you want to exclude HathiTrust books, select Advanced Search from the home page of the library website. Type in your search, and scroll to the bottom and select “Exclude HathiTrust eResources”.

HathiTrust exclude

Getting the full text

As with any electronic resource you access through the library catalog, you can scroll down to the item information to get the link to the content. Click on HathiTrust Digital Library to link to the content.

Get it Online

Once you’re in there, you can search for the exact content you want, or flip through the pages. You can download a page at a time. You won’t be able to download the whole book from HathiTrust, but since many of the books are also in Google Books you can download it from there.

Here’s the catch: due to contractual issues beyond our control, HathiTrust doesn’t always link directly to the Google Books version. Wherever possible, the library catalog itself will link you to the Google Books version, or you can search Google Books directly.

Why you might want to use this

You might be asking yourself: “Why not just search Google Books directly? Why does the library link me to Google resources? Why should I bother?”

First, you get the advantage of library cataloging in searching for appropriate books for your research, which is more thorough and aimed at the type of academic research you are doing. (Of course, many of these books were published before 1923, and so not appropriate for some types of research.) Second, the HathiTrust platform itself is much easier to use and navigate through books than the Google Books platform. Lastly, the HathiTrust is only concerned with making information more accessible to researchers. Unlike Google, it’s not trying to sell you anything and you can feel very confident that your research remains confidential.

Comments?

We consider the addition of these records into our catalog an experiment for the fall 2012 semester. We will see how it goes and consider if this is meeting the needs of the Dominican community. We welcome your comments and questions. You can leave us a comment in our comment box, or get in touch with a reference librarian by phone or chat.