online tutorials


Screenshot of APA tutorial

APA tutorial: screenshot features Journal citations.

Even if you use a bibliographic manager to generate citations and/or bibliographies, it is always a good idea  to check the final version of your citations and bibliography against an authoritative Citation guide. The Citation Styles Libguide has links to some of the more commonly used citation styles, including APA, MLA, Turabian; additionally, you might check with the Reference desk or the Writing Center for a guide in book form.  One of our “frequently asked questions” is about the inclusion (or not) of URLs in APA journal citations:  the Citation Styles hosts a link to  the Basics of APA style, which may help you with the finer points of spacing, placement of URLS, etc.

Here also a link to a short  video that focuses on the “journal article”  slide of the APA tutorial, so that you can see several versions of what a Journal Article might look like in an APA bibliography and see what adjustments you may need to make if you are using Refworks or Zotero to auto-generate bibliographic information.

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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.

The recent  article from 8/31/2010 issue of CHE takes up a new wrinkle in the Google Books project.  The article “Google’s Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars” recounts the issues surrounding the big-buzz question “what will Google do with the books once scanned” and goes on to another practical question: “Can Google possibly live up to the professed goals of the ‘Google Books Library’ project?”  If Google scanned all the scholarly-library-donated-books in order to facilitate  discoverability of  lost treasures, the metadata needed to facilitate a scholarly search needs to be reliable and standardized enough (think library cataloging by subject specialists) to help the researcher find the relevant material across the database objects.

But to pose those [research-based] questions, you need reliable metadata about dates and categories, which is why it’s so disappointing that the book search’s metadata are a train wreck: a mishmash wrapped in a muddle wrapped in a mess.

Jon Orwant, the person responsible for metadata in the GoogleBooks project has posted his own thoughtful responses in the comments area of Nunberg’s  “illustrated” version of the article (and in keeping with web-2.0 publication vagaries, the illustrated version and comments are dated 8/29!)

Of course, while library catalogues and databases try to be slaves to consistent metadata, we often work with whatever we can get in order to make sure that our researchers have access to their needed information in as many venues as possible.  Thus, we note with some pleasure that the earlier Google Scholar project — which deals primarily with scholarly articles and citations from scholarly bibliographies — does not suffer as much on the metadata end, but this is because the basic-but-standard bibliographic metadata is generated by the authors themselves, and therefore tend to be more reliable (as reliable as scholars are careful!) .

Libraries have also worked with Google Scholar to facilitate Check for full text linking to a patron’s “home” university library for full-text access to cited articles (in the preferences options).  St. John’s Libraries and WorldCat are automatically added to  GoogleScholar results if you are using computers in the labs, but if you would like to add this “Check  for Full Text” feature to your work or home computer, and find a way to add GS citations to your RefWorks folder, use this tutorial.

Here’s hoping that the GoogleBooks efforts are fruitful and that we can look forward to Google’s transparency and co-operation with libraries and librarians — who have been their precursors and constant companions in the effort to  promote wider-access-to and reliable-metadata-for the information people seek to improve their research or their lives.

To all our RefWorks users, you may have noticed a “certificate error” message recently, even if you have been visiting RefWorks on your computer before. The “good news” is that RefWorks upgraded their server, and refworks.com is a “trusted site.” As long as you have accessed RefWorks from either (a) our library website, (b) one of our databases, or going directly to “http://libraries.stjohns.edu/refworks” you can continue the process with confidence.

If you are using Internet Explorer 6, IE 7 or Safari, use the images below to guide you through the process.  Firefox, it is a little trickier, follow the guides on this document:

Refworks Certificate error as displayed on IE6

Refworks Certificate error as displayed on IE6 - Click "Yes" to proceed

Certificate error on IE 7 -- Click on "Continue to this website"

Certificate error from Safari Browser

If you are using Safari: Click on CONTINUE

Library Tours: Research and Resources

Library Tours: Research and Resources

As we approach the start of the new year, we want to welcome freshmen, transfer students, new graduate students and fresh faculty with some tours to get them off-and-researching.  So  we are working on a few different versions of our tours, to meet different needs.  Please take a look at these works-in-progress and offer us feedback!  If there is a “niche” tour that you would like to help with, let us know that too.

 Some features included on the current “tour site” are:

  • an AudioVisual tour of the St. Augustine Library highlighting layout, offices and services, 
  • an AudioVisual tour of the Libraries’ website & libguides,
  • a link to the research guidance booklet
  • a “floorplan guide” that allows click-throughs. 

refworksIf  you are wanting to add the most recent versions of APA and MLA output styles into your refworks account — or if you want to add a specific Journal style to your list of outputs, the following is a brief  “screenshot tutorial” of how to do so.  TUTORIAL:  Adding a new or updated style guide to your Bibliography Output options 

Please note that the newest APA and MLA  ouput styles are still in “Beta” — that is they are not without flaws — but RefWorks is releasing these versions of the styles “before the program development can be completed… to give our users a chance to review the style and to send us their input and suggestions with the intent of having an accurate and comprehensive presentation …prior to the next academic term. …If you have any feedback, questions, comments or concerns please do not hesitate to contact support@refworks-cos.com.”

For a note about some of the major differences between APA 5th and APA 6th editions, and how RefWorks is dealing with them, please see this excerpt (from a RefWorks letter) below:

      APA 6th style is not a major change from APA 5th output style.  The new version does not use the database name with the exception of ERIC documents (reports).  We have removed the database field from all reference types with the exception of reports.
     The new edition of APA has changed the manner in which authors are to be listed in the text and in the reference list. The new reference list guidelines state that when there are seven or more authors there should only be seven authors presented. When there are more than seven authors the first six are to be listed, ellipses added after the sixth, and the last author added at the end.  In order for RefWorks to adhere to these changes, we will need to make modifications to our current Output Style Editor which will require program development.  In the short-term, our new APA style will list all authors and will require the user to manually remove the extra authors and add the ellipses.
     The new guidelines allow for the inclusion of up to five authors in the first instance of an in-text citation and the use of the first author with ‘et al.’ in all subsequent citations of the same reference. This too, will require [further] APA specific development in RefWorks.

From the RWADMIN-L Digest – 21 Jul 2009 to 22 Jul 2009 (#2009-84)

REFworks_loginIn case you haven’t seen it, we’ve added a Troubleshooting tab on the RefWorks Guide that addresses some questions our users have raised.  Issues range from broad ( forgotten password — pictured at left) to specific issues (using an upgraded browser on a non-St.John’s-issued laptop from off-campus).

We will continue to update the LibGuide, the troubleshooting tab and this blog  according to the frequency with which new questions are posed to our RefWorks crew  and according to how new technologies or updates  impact RefWorks users.

Please note,  if neither the RefWorks LibGuide tutorials nor the troubleshooting page answer your questions, you can always email us at refworks@stjohns.edu to get help.   

When you email us, please take a screen shot* of your computer screen at the point/s-of-problem  so that we have a better idea of what you are seeing when you have difficulty.  Please also let us know what what kind of computer you are using (PC, MAC, etc.) what browser you are using  (FireFox, IE6 or IE7) and what Operating System you are using (Vista, XP, Mac Jaguar etc.)

(*To take a screen shot press Shift+PrtSc and paste (Ctrl+V) the image/s into a Word Document and attach the document to your email.)

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