Ask A Librarian

WVU Libraries adds electronic resources

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
March 23rd, 2006

The Daily Athenaeum, March 23, 2006

By Colleen Wright
Senior Staff Writer

West Virginia University Libraries recently added two new electronic resources to their resume. Web of Science and Elsevier’s Science Direct give faculty and students access to thousands of new journals.

Web of Science contains 22,000 journals, 23 million patents, 12,000 conference proceedings, 5,500 websites, 5,000 books and other scholarly contents.

Science Direct includes electronic versions of a wide variety of frequently used journals. These journals contain information helpful to people in almost every field, especially the sciences.

“Web of Science was the most requested database by faculty. They have been asking for it for the last seven to eight years, and we didn’t have the money until now,” said Mary Strife, director of the WVU Evansdale Library.

Web of Science is unique because it is a citation database, according to Strife. Users will be able to pull up an article that was written within the last two years and then see if anyone else cited the article in their writings.

“This is very important to researchers so they can see how many other people thought it was important,” Strife said.

The databases received funding on the terms of using them to expand scientific areas, according to Strife. Science Direct was added as part of this project.

“Sciences journals tend to be more expensive and harder to get online, but b ecause we got it as a package, we got a good deal for a reasonable amount of money,” Strife said. “Everything we can get electronic makes people happier. We are really thrilled about the new additions.”

The addition of Science Direct offers students and faculty access to more years of journals than before, and it also makes an additional 300-400 more journals available.

“We are trying to give people as few places to look as possible but still link it up so it’s easy to get to other databases,” Strife said. “The idea is getting more depth. It’s nice have a couple years of journals, but it’s better to have 10.”

Many University professors are pleased with the addition of the new databases and look forward to using them for research.

“It is certainly great for students in the sciences and some of the social sciences because it consolidates everything into a single place to look,” said Dr. Gregory Elmes, a geography professor. “(Web of Science) is similar to Google’s scholar search but is a far more sophisticated version that allows users to evolve more deeply into the information.”

Dr. Fred Minnear, assistant dean for graduate studies in the WVU School of Medicine, believes the new databases will save time and makes research easier.

“Having the capability of printing journal articles from one’s individual computer will save time, provide immediate information and produce quality color reproductions of the reported data,” Minnear said. “Students and faculty will benefit tremendously from this acquisition to the WVU Libraries.”

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