A Database Feature That Deserves a Hearing

Producers of subscription databases are constantly looking for ways to improve their products to make them easier to use and more functional for users. EBSCOhost, which produces a number of databases to which Rice Library subscribes (Academic Search Premier, CINAHL with Full Text, Historical Abstracts, etc.), has recently added a “Text-to-Speech” feature which reads the text of HTML content contained in the database.
Users that retrieve full-text HTML documents (not .pdf) in an EBSCOhost database may listen to the text read by one of three English language accents (American, British, or Australian) and at one of three speeds (slow, medium, or fast). Look for the “Listen” icon (pictured at right), located in the upper left hand corner of the full-text portion of the document. Select from the accent and speed options and click on the “Listen” button. The user may select specific text or have the document read from the beginning. As an added feature, the portion being read is highlighted, making it easier to follow along.

Library Expertise for You and Your Students

Did you see this 7/16/10 post on the Inside Higher Ed website?

Rob Weir’s Using Library Experts Wisely calls on faculty to re-think the same old library orientation for their students, and accurately describes the usual less-than-stellar outcomes that we librarians also observe. Your reference/instruction librarians have great ideas, and are eager to work with you for better student experiences and better work. We’re always looking for chances to collaborate with faculty, to become more involved, and truly help your students succeed.

If you skim this article and are inspired to work more closely with one of us, please let us know. Contact Joanne Artz (jmailto:Jartz@usi.edu) or Johanna MacKay (jmmackay@usi.edu.) Let’s make the most of your expertise and ours!

Looking for BioMedical Information? A New Free Database May Help

In addition to Rice Library’s excellent subscription databases focused on nursing and health professions and those devoted to science and engineering, users may be interested in trying a new free biomedical search site This site, known as BioMedSearch.com, combines Medline/PubMed data with data from other sources to make it one of the most comprehensive biomedical literature databases available. It includes theses, dissertations, and other publications not found anywhere else.

The database includes simple and advanced search options along with a sophisticated search syntax, which if mastered, should help users to narrow their search strategies to produce more satisfactory results. Additionally, users are allowed to browse by subject clusters (e.g., Clinical Trials, Nursing Care and Education) as well as establish their own accounts, thus giving them access to greater functionality.

Although the database contains some full-text materials, it is not largely full text, and it does not automatically link to Rice Library’s ILLiad (interlibrary loan) service. Therefore, users will need to check the library’s catalog and Journal Finder to determine availability of items retrieved via BioMedSearch.com. If needed items are not available in Rice Library’s collections, users may request them by copying and pasting the bibliographical information into the appropriate ILLiad forms in order to submit an interlibrary loan request.
For help with this or other library resources and services, contact the Rice Library Reference Desk: (812) 464-1907, (800)246-6173,
libref@usi.edu, or in person on the 1st floor.