January 2012


EBSCOhost recently launched a mobile app for Android and iPhone, making it much easier to find and read articles on those devices. The app is fairly intuitive, and reproduces many of the features of the regular version, including saving and e-mailing articles, and limiting to a specific journal or date range. By default, the app searches all of EBSCOhost’s databases simultaneously, so users who are looking for information from a specific discipline may want to limit their search to a specific database, a list of which may be found by clicking on settings, at the bottom of the page.

Users should be aware that the EBSCOhost app does not use natural language, meaning you will not retrieve useful search results if you simply enter a string of search terms. For example,

mitt romney south carolina retrieved only 42 articles

mitt romney and south Carolina retrieved 711 articles

There are a couple of minor flaws in this app – the autocomplete feature under settings does not seem to work, for example. Neither does the button for re-sorting search results by publication date.

Nonetheless, the EBSCOhost app is a welcome development, and is far preferable to using the regular version of EBSCO on your smart phone.

To install the EBSCOhost app on your Android or iPhone, go to any EBSCO database through the SJ Libraries home page, such as

Academic Search Premier

Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click New! EBSCOhost iPhone and Android Applications. This will prompt you for your e-mail address, to which EBSCO will send a key and instructions for downloading the EBSCOhost app.

info graphic on change of Congressional position by ProPublica.org

As a follow-up to the earlier entry,  SOPA and PIPA were pulled from congressional vote in their current form. The sponsors of the bills acknowledged that a more nuanced discussion is required prior to putting more legislation forward.   To get an idea of what the critics of the old legislation would like to see addressed in new talks and legislation, a  CNN-Panel discussion addressed the lack of understanding that proponents of the old bill had, and questioned the feasibility and efficacy of the proposed solutions in the old legislation.

“Activists talked about the potential consequences if the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) are approved by Congress. Both pieces of legislation are similar and target Web sites that commit or facilitate online piracy.”

Although the panel convened before the vote was pulled, their discussion points offer an overview of what major concerns would need to be addressed in any future legislation.

Speakers:
Markham Erickson, Partner, Holch & Erickson LLP, and Executive Director, NetCoalition
Michael Petricone, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Consumer Electronics
Association
Mike Masnick, Founder and President, TechDirt
Casey Rae-Hunter, Deputy Director, Future of Music Coalition
Christian Dawson, Chief Operating Officer, ServInt

If you are wondering why some sites are blacked-out today, or why some sites have blocked out their logos/name, it is in protest regarding bills in congress which are aimed at stamping out piracy / protecting intellectual property (a good goal) but proposing to do it by way of censorship and/or surveillance (a questionable means). There are a number of petitions going around, but for a little more info on why there is such an outcry, here are a couple of quick, reliable resources:

The google graphic shows the variety of people and organizations who oppose the bills and why; and offers the opportunity to add your name to their petition. The American Library Association has put together a quick reference guide to explain the PIPA, SOPA and OPEN Acts (pdf).   It indicates who initiated the bill and where the bill would impact free speech and/or free enterprise.

…the ALA deplores any legislation that would incentivize and likely increase surveillance of online activity promoted by these bills.  These bills, if passed, would likely blanket Internet activity with an immediate chilling effect – on first amendment free speech rights, intellectual freedom and privacy rights, among others.

 

As mentioned in a previous August post, RefWorks has a new interface as of 2012…RefWorks 2.0.

Current users may notice some changes in layout, and some improvements in functionality;  find out what’s different/new.

New users can get a Preview of what RefWorks 2.0 can do for you as a citation manager.

Want to learn more about RefWorks on your own? RefWorks webinars and tutorials can get you going; our RefWorks LibGuide can also help answer questions.

If you prefer to learn in person,with a librarian, stop by an StJ Libraries Workshop or make an appointment with your librarian.

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