I received a question about our access to OVID yesterday via MEEBO when I wasn’t logged in. I can see the question in the chat window, I just can’t respond so that the person asking this excellent question can see my response. So, I’m responding here because it was a really great question:

how do I search the OVID data base directly? I know that we have some journals in that, but it doesn’t show up on the database title list.?

Murphy Library subscribes to 10 journals through OVID. OVID offers thousands of other titles, but UW-La Crosse users have access to just the 10. I never realized that users would think to search OVID rather than OTJR or another of the 10 journals directly. Each of the 10 journals is cataloged in the library catalog and linked within our link resolver (GetTeXt), but I never added a link to the OVID database itself. Until today.

Journals@OVID (OVID)
Journals@Ovid is a single database that contains the Ovid Full Text and graphics of every full text journal offered by Ovid. Use the “External Resolver” link to request articles from journals to which we do not subscribe. Or, limit your search to Your Journals@Ovid, a subset of the full database that contains only Murphy Library’s current OVID subscriptions (American Journal of Occupational Therapy, American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, Journal of Cardiopulmonary Research and Prevention, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, OTJR, Pediatric Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning Journal).



September 16, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Walk lightly! Think of a time.*

I haven’t updated this blog in a long, long time.  I’ve been busy, of course.  Busy is good.  Lately I’ve been in that head-spinning busy where schedules and goals and emergencies are swirling around and it’s difficult to prioritize.  In the midst of this major head-swirling, exciting things are happening at Murphy Library.

1.  Over 700 newspapers from 76 countries in 38 languages in full-color and full-page format are now available for your reading pleasure from PressDisplay. Although two of my favorite newspapers weren’t available when we signed the license agreement, both the Star-Tribune (Minneapolis) and the Chicago Tribune are now included. While most PressDisplay newspapers have a 60 days rolling backfile, access to the Chicago Tribune is only for 4 days, rolling. Still, this is progress! Speaking of progress, it was through browsing through the Tribune via PressDisplay that I discovered that construction is underway on this monstrosity stunning new Chicago landmark, the Chicago Spire. Holy cow.

2. Blackwell is dead, long live Wiley-Blackwell. Yes, the merger between Blackwell and Wiley is complete. All of our Blackwell journals that were available through Blackwell’s Synergy platform are now available through Wiley interScience. At least, they should be. Links from our periodicals locator (the interface formerly known as periodicals holdings list) should be redirecting users to Wiley, but please let me know if things don’t go as planned (use the Questions? Ask a Librarian link from the GetTeXt menu).

3. The web site redesign is now live! The Murphy Library web team has been working with the UW-L web template for a year now and after a long summer of coding, the new web site is finally available. Now that we have lots of good people using this new web, I’m learning more about what new aspects of the design are working and which aren’t. We’ll be making lots of little changes in the coming weeks, all designed to further improve the library research experience.

4. I’m enjoying my first semester of being an embedded librarian. I’m “borrowing” this gig from a colleague on leave, but I already realize I will miss this added interaction with students. I’ve always loved the research process – it’s a game for me – and it’s great to be asked to come along on someone’s research adventure.

5. I’m really hungry. bye.

*Talking Heads, Slippery People

September 11, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Small Summer Projects: SFX Menu Tweaks & Zotero

The last few weeks have been full of little stuff; small things that we (in the periodicals dept) are working on to improve access to periodicals.

GetTeXt, Find It, or Get It?
Librarians named our SFX button/linking service “GetTeXt” quite awhile ago. The sad truth is, however (and anyone running a link resolver will understand this), that many times no full text is actually available. Many times interlibrary loan requests must be made. Or perhaps trips down a flight of stairs to the bound periodicals stacks. Inconveniences for sure. So, due consideration is being made to the possibility of changing the name of this service to “Find It” or “Get It” or maybe “Get It Occasionally”.

Marketing Journal Subscriptions
Marketing our Local Subscriptions
Twenty years ago Murphy Library subscribed to around 1600 journals and all were available only in print. As we prepare for another round of subscription renewals and possible cancellations, I noted today that we now subscribe to under 800 individual journals subscriptions. Our large package deals with Elsevier and Sage add thousands more titles, but the tide has definitely turned. Because all the full text content from aggregator databases (like Academic Search Premier) can sometimes obfuscate our individual subscriptions, I decided we should somehow highlight these or our users would never think to select one from a crowded GetTeXt menu. So, by adding a little extra text and an icon, our individual subscriptions now are listed first in our GetTeXt menu and will hopefully grab some much-deserved attention.

Locating Print/Microform Titles
Map & Find FeatureAnother annoyance fixed was better labeling for our print/microform periodicals locations in GetTeXt. For example, simply labeling the location as “bound periodicals” does little to actually inform users where they need to go to locate the item. Our resolution was to add a small graphic that links into a new window showing a floor plan. Another very small fix that we hope will make locating our titles much easier.

I just ran into a great tutorial on how to use Zotero from Jacob Glenn over at the University of Michigan. I’ve had Zotero loaded for months, but haven’t gotten very far with it until I cruised through this tutorial. Thanks Jacob! I was really impressed with Zotero’s citation quality and I plan to teach students about Zotero next fall. If you haven’t downloaded Zotero yet, now is a great time to check out this fabulous citation manager. Oh, and it’s free!

May 30, 2008. News, Subscriptions. Leave a comment.

Just Another Day

I’ve used this space thus far to elaborate on the big issues I see in librarianship. Some days as a periodicals librarian, however, aren’t filled with deep thoughts about big, exciting issues, but rather with a growing lists of projects begging for attention. Like today. After a reference shift filled with questions about printing, I’m focusing on updating a bibliography I maintain of core women’s studies books in the area of religion. Later, I’ll get back to trying to fix the display issues on our SFX a-to-z list. Each month we get updates to the user interface that seemingly require me to spend the rest of the month figuring out how to fix the problems the changes create.  I’m still asking begging the vendor to update our Elsevier holdings (begging started in January) so that I don’t have to manually add 232 titles to our College Edition “target”.  Everyday that passes, however, means our users don’t have access to those 232 titles. Access problems pain me.  Oh, and there’s a coworker asking about access problems to another journal, JABA.  And don’t let me forget to set-up that trial to Scopus and starting the annual periodicals title cancellation project.

In addition to working in periodicals and acquisitions I also volunteered to be the web team leader this year.  A year we are undergoing a major web re-design.  I’ve recently started a 12 step program involving the frequent repetition of a simple mantra: no.  Today’s web goal:  set-up new RSS feeds for the library web site redesign that I have to present to the faculty senate library committee on Friday.  Actually, the RSS work led me back to this post, which has sat discarded as various projects pile up.

I believe we used to call this job security.   Blog update (another item crossed off the list).

March 26, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal Archives: How Many Copies Do We Need?

A recurring joke amongst archivists (at least back in the day when I was a practicing archivist) centers around issues of National Geographic. Many, many people have stored the entire run of National Geographic is attics and basements and (usually when moving an elderly relative) decide to donate the issues to their local archives because they think they are priceless artifacts. The archivist must keep a serious face, thank the donor for thinking to share this treasure with them, and explain that the local library already has a complete run of National Geographic (doesn’t nearly every library?). I’m not saying that the National Geographic is worthless kindling, but how many copies are too many copies?

I have been struggling with the question of how to archive journals for quite awhile now. Although I don’t know if I have the right answer, I have come to a comfortable decision of sorts. My institution has a forest of bound journals in the basement; hundreds of thousands of volumes that, for the most part, are accumulating a thick layer of dust. My library does not have space for this still growing forest, and the need to weed out titles is ever looming. This realization enables me to step back and think that it’s fine if we don’t keep everything because scholarship is constantly evolving. My institution is not a major research university. We need to keep a certain amount of current scholarship accessible for our faculty and students and no more.

While my institution is somewhat off the hook: we won’t be saving the world’s scholarship; libraries around the world do need to come up with a plan. I see OCLC’s WorldCat database as playing an important role in this plan. I think each institution needs to step up and not only preserve the journal titles most important to their curriculum and history, but they need to indicate (via WorldCat) that they are going to keep print copies (or participate in CLOCKSS to preserve electronic content) for a particular title. This plays out in Wisconsin via a policy known as “last copy.” If your institution holds the only copy of a journal run, your library is expected to keep it. This policy has no formality, however, and without a way of indicating that a library is the last copy holder, this great idea has languished. I think American libraries need to get serious about formalizing this system.

February 14, 2008. journal archiving. Leave a comment.

Harvard & Open Access: Has the Tide Turned?

Have you heard the news out of Cambridge this week? Read the quick and dirty version at the Boston Globe. To summarize, faculty at Harvard will be required to deposit copies of  scholarly articles with a yet-to-be-named Office of Scholarly Communication (within the library of course). This office will then add each paper to an institutional repository, making the research available to anyone in the world who cares to read it. Faculty who wish to publish their research in journals that do not allow them to retain their copyright can file a waiver.

I am cautiously excited about this news. If other universities (University of Wisconsin anyone?) quickly follow suit, I think the open access movement will gather some inspiring momentum.

The blogging world has already contributed many thoughtful pieces on the Harvard decision. If you are interested in reading further, try Dorothea Salo’s piece in Caveat Lector and Peter Suber’s post from Open Access News, which includes background and the full text of the Harvard statement.

Rock on open access, rock on!

February 14, 2008. Open Access. 1 comment.

Taking it to the Street > the Library is Everywhere

Our UW-L LibX library toolbar is live! If you haven’t heard of LibX, it’s this amazing grant-funded, open-source project from Annette Bailey (digital assets librarian) and Godmar Back (assistant professor in CS) of Virginia Tech Tech University. You can find out all the good techie stuff at

Anyone who has done a Google search in the last six months understands why we need a toolbar that will link users from the general internet back to our library systems. Our users are running into licensed library content through Google searches, but having no idea that their library has paid for access. If these users are off-campus, they may not understand why they are being asked to pay for the content. The toolbar enables users to link from Google to our link resolver, enabling users to seamlessly access licensed journal content, or be redirected to our interlibrary loan/document delivery service.

For example, suppose I was running a Google search for information regarding the French middle paleolithic era (which I just happened to run into today).

Google Search

I see that there is a a great looking article from JSTOR that seems to contain just what I’m looking for, so I follow the link only to hit this roadblock:

JSTOR roadblock.

Upsetting! But I’m forgetting the power of the toolbar. I simply click the DOI link for the JSTOR article: and link to our familiar GetTeXt menu.



After following the full text online link from GetTeXt, I am prompted to authenticate through our proxy server, and reach my article.

Any time you find a DOI or an ISSN or ISBN number on a web page, you should notice that they are all hyperlinked. Clicking on any of these will take you to the GetTeXt menu where you should be able to choose from a variety of library services.

What’s your favorite LibX story? If LibX is saving you time, please leave a comment.

January 25, 2008. News. Leave a comment.

More Questions Than Answers: Archiving Journals

In the bad old days (oh the simple joys of the 1980s!) librarians purchased individual journal issues. After a bunch of issues accumulated, we bound the issues into a colorful volume and placed it on a shelf. And thus was journal archiving. Only theft, fire, or rain could possibly interfere with this simple process.

But the Oughts have brought us new questions about archiving journals. We no longer receive printed journal issues for most titles. Should we care about archiving? Should librarians figure out a way to safely store digital information? Publishers haven’t wasted much time figuring out that they can charge libraries content that already been paid for at least once, but we all know that libraries cannot continue to make these hefty payments.

I just read about Journal of Cell Science, whose publisher has digitized and made available for free its entire 155 volume run. Should I keep the brief holdings that my library has retained (1967-1980)? Should I send the volumes to Madison? Should every state have a complete print run of Journal of Cell Science? How do we determine which libraries preserve which titles?

I worry that all librarians have as many questions about journal archiving as I do and that the questions are not getting answered. Is it too late for these questions?


January 9, 2008. journal archiving, News. Leave a comment.

JSTOR and Science: Together Again

I tend to run a little on the cynical side, so when Science pulled out of their ten year relationship with JSTOR last summer, I snickered (really – I did.) and thought that it was the beginning of the end, that no publisher should ever be trusted, ad nauseum. Well, internet, I was wrong.

One of the first email messages I read this new year detailed the new agreement between JSTOR and AAAS. Well, there were actually no details (that sort of financial stuff is simply not discussed in public), but the gist of the matter is that Science is NOT leaving JSTOR.

While I am still cynical about the rather precarious relationship between publishers and librarians, Ithink this agreement is a step in the right direction and feel very pleased that AAAS listened when librarians complained about them leaving JSTOR.

Happy New Year!

January 7, 2008. News. Leave a comment.

Protect Your Copyright

I was just re-reading a message from UW-Madison Libraries Acting Director Ed Van Gemert about how the UW-Madison Libraries must cancel more journals for 2008. It seems that no library, even the best funded, can stop the constant wave of journal cancellations. All of the UW libraries, including UW-La Crosse, will be expanding access to document delivery services in 2008 in order to provide access to journal articles, even as we have lost the ability to own this vital scholarly research from journals. Director Van Gemert ends his memo by urging scholars to retain copyright to their work, something I find myself urging as well. All publishers have slightly different rules about copyright, but the first step is to ask about retaining your copyright. If you don’t ask, publishers are most likely not going to offer it to you. UW-Madison’s Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing has put together a primer of sorts on how to negotiate copyright retention. I highly recommend it and will be adding a link to the library’s web page on scholarly communication.

November 26, 2007. Copyright. Leave a comment.

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