The ProQuest family of online databases was recently refreshed with a new look and feel to the user interface. While some changes are simply cosmetic, providing a more contemporary look to the search and results screens, others may greatly enhance the way students access these important sources of information in the future. Newly available is a “My Research” link at the top of the ProQuest screens, where students using campus-networked computers can create a username and password to save the results they’ve found. Once that’s achieved, a student can access those results from ProQuest’s website with any internet-connected (wired or wireless) computer, on campus or off, without having to first go through Citrix. Not only that, once logged in, they can continue to search the ProQuest databases, again with no need for Citrix. While this will currently work with all 19 ProQuest databases that the Library offers (all of which begin with “ProQuest” in their name except for American Periodicals Series Online), Citrix will still have to be used on non-networked computers to access the other databases to which the Library currently subscribes to (e.g. JSTOR).
ProQuest, supplier of three of the Library’s magazine and newspaper databases, will be down for maintenance this weekend. From 10pm on Saturday until 10am on Sunday, Proquest Historical Newspapers, American Periodicals Series Online, and Proquest Platinum are going to be unavailable. Students working on research papers should plan ahead for the outage. Below are brief descriptions of these three databases for those who may be unfamiliar with them, with links to the Library’s Research Databases page:
American Periodicals Series Online
More than 1,000 American magazines and newspapers published between 1741 and 1940.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and ten other national and regional papers
2,000 magazines and scholarly journals. Also the New York Times (1980 on), Wall Street Journal (1984 on), 40 other newspapers and news services.
Google Books has begun to partner with publishers to digitize the back issues of magazines and offer them online. As part of this initiative, the entire run of Life magazine—over 1,860 issues from 1936 to 1972—has been digitized. Even though the library has issues of Life in bound volumes, it’s really fun to browse through this online collection and see the variety of topics covered by the magazine (the Berlin Airlift, the Olympics, John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and the Beatles to name just a few) as well as view the many photos that were the hallmark of Life. Issues are searchable, and, through thumbnail view, you can see all the pages in a given issue.
An interesting website devoted exclusively to world news was launched earlier this year. Founded by Charles Sennott and Philip Balboni, two veteran Boston journalists, the mission of the GlobalPost “is to provide Americans, and all English-language readers around the world, with a depth, breadth and quality of original international reporting that has been steadily diminished in too many American newspapers and television networks.”
News stories and feature articles are written by 65 correspondents in 45 countries who offer an in-depth, “on the ground” perspective on global issues. Recent posts on the site have included coverage of the coup in Honduras, an article on rising seas in the Netherlands, and a piece on the “ghost schools” of Pakistan.
Reflecting the sea change currently occurring in American journalism, the Christian Science Monitor has ceased publication as a daily newspaper and has “reinvented” itself as a weekly magazine. We have just received the first issues of this magazine and find it a very attractive and appealing publication.
In each issue, there is an in-depth cover story on a global event or emerging trend (e.g., “Ten Ways the New Economy Will Look Different”), as well as a review of world and U. S. news. There is also a new column called “Dispatches” with local news stories from Monitor correspondents around the world. In addition, there are 4 weekly features—Money, Innovation, Environment, and Culture—and an end-of-issue piece that highlights a person making a difference in today’s world.
You can find this new publication on the magazine shelves in the Kaplanoff Periodicals Room.