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July 24, 2009

Alumni/Unaffiliated patron access to Exam Master

Hi all,

I got a question on the reference desk this morning from an alum wondering if she could use Exam Master. The short answer is yes, as long as the person accesses it from in the library the first time. They also have remote access once they've set up their account.

Exam Master is an account-based tool - people must create a personal account to use it, and on the library computers they may do so without needing to put in X.500 info. After they've created this account, they can use it to log in from anywhere. They might get hit with an X.500 screen when connecting to Exam Master through the library site from off campus, but in any case, they can go directly to the Exam Master website to login and bypass any possible X.500 issues.

I looked into whether this was an untoward loophole, and in reading the license and consulting with Katherine, this seems to be an allowed use. The unaffiliated people have to come into the library to set up an account, which covers them under walk-in users.

So! In case the question ever comes up, this is pretty much the only resource I know of where alums (or anyone) can have eventual remote access.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!


July 23, 2009

Recording Stats: Defining Transactions

This is the second of two of my promised (threatened?) statistics posts.

Recently, there was some confusion about how transactions are defined at the Reference Desk, especially regarding AAHSL. We've determined that although AAHSL has changed a number of its statistics criteria, they have not changed this aspect of their survey. They do require the total number of questions asked rather than the total number of encounters (or "transactions" ), but they provide a multiplier for converting transactions into questions (it's arbitrary, to be sure).

To simplify stats keeping, we've elected to continue to record transactions (which are reported to ARL) and convert the transactions into questions (which are then reported to AAHSL).

If you're interested in reading the AAHSL definitions, I have a printed copy at my desk.

There were also questions about Reference vs. Directional vs. Technical Transaction Types. Here are some examples that I hope will clarify most questions:

  • I need help finding a book...or an article. - REFERENCE
  • Where is this________ call number? - DIRECTIONAL (though GovPubs may consider this a REFERENCE question)
  • Where are books on Colonial American history? - REFERENCE
  • How can I email myself this article from JStor? - TECHNICAL (needs help with JStor functions, not content)
  • Where is the bathroom? - DIRECTIONAL
  • Do you have a book about Roberto Clemente in Spanish? - REFERENCE
  • How do you print to a jump drive? - TECHNICAL
  • Can you log me in as a guest? - TECHNICAL
  • I can't figure out how to use PubMed. - REFERENCE
  • I need HAMLET by Shakespeare. - REFERENCE
You can also check out the Desk Tracker FAQ (https://wiki.lib.umn.edu/AP/DeskTrackerFAQ) and the Desk Tracker User Guide (linked from the above site) for additional information. I would also be more than happy to try to answer questions or bring them to the Reinventing Reference Collaborative, if necessary.


July 22, 2009

Recording Stats: Where to Record Stats to Make 'Em Count

This is the first of two posts about stats that I've been meaning to do. This one is a refresher on where stats should be recorded in Desk Tracker.

Here are the brief instructions for logging in and selecting the appropriate branch and desk:

Login: Your username and password will always be the same, EXCEPT if you are opening the Reference Desk at Bio-Med or Reference at Vet Med. (You will find Bio-Med's Reference username/password combination in the Instructions for Opening at the desk.)


Desk: It will change, depending on the purpose of the tracking...

HSL.Liaisons - for tracking personal work, EXCEPT for Literature Searches
HSL.Lit.Search - for tracking Literature Searches
HSL.Med.Ref - for tracking responses to MedRef email questions
HSL.Reference - for tracking Reference transactions at the Reference Desk in Bio-Med
HSL.Vet.Med - for tracking Vet Med transactions
HSL.Wangensteen - for tracking Wangensteen transactions

Contact Type:
Just a note here - consultations are pulled from transactions tagged as Appointments, regardless of the desk under which they are entered.

Questions or concerns? Please let me know.


July 15, 2009

Google Scholar vs Web of Science

Recently, I had our helpful student worker Erin run a 2-year group of 231 U of MN vet school articles through Google Scholar and WOS (cited reference search) to find out if one was better than the other at identifying new article citing these CVM articles. Lately, I've put more faith in Google Scholar than WOS. The results showed that both should be used, as results varied, sometimes widely. Some journals of course such as PLOS One and Methods in Molecular Biology are not in the ISI database at all. The final tally was 824 articles for WOS and 852 for Google Scholar. Take this for what is is worth.

July 14, 2009

RefWorks Links back in Google Scholar

Hi all,
The "Import into RefWorks" links are now visible in Google Scholar. The problem was on Google's end, so if this happens again, the quickest route to resolution is to alert the Google Scholar team. If for some reason the links are not showing up, remember to set the preferences in Google Scholar to show import links.


July 9, 2009

Changes to Remote Access for Preceptors and other Non-Paid Faculty

Hi all -

Liz posted about changes to remote access for non-paid faculty in May, but we've started to receive an increasing number of inquiries recently, so I thought a refresher couldn't hurt (i.e. I needed one).

Here's the scoop from Linda:

"Most of the Schools/Colleges within the AHC are trimming their rosters of non-paid faculty, and/or creating "tiers" of appointment. These faculty are called by a number of names, usually Adjunct or Visiting Faculty. In most cases, the Schools/Colleges had provided these faculty with official appointments which then allowed them x.500 and remote access to our licensed library resources. Without an official appointment, such remote library access is not possible. For your information, the full explanation of who has access to our licensed resources can be found here: http://www.lib.umn.edu/site/authentication.phtml.

The Schools/Colleges are setting their own criteria for who will continue to receive an official appointment (and therefore who will have remote access to our licensed resources), and who will not. The communication to those individuals varies, and was crafted by each School/College. So, it is likely that the wording or explanation is confusing those who are no longer considered eligible for library (and other) privileges. For example, in the School of Nursing, some former "Adjuncts" are being changed to "Affiliate" Status, and their letter says: "Your benefits include access to the U of M Libraries' electronic onsite resources." NOTE THE WORD ONSITE, something which letter recipients may not pick up on. And, within HSL, they would then need to get guest login to have access, since nearly all our workstations are x.500 authenticated. That varies in the other libraries.

Here is a generic statement that you can use when you get inquiries from such individuals about remote library access."

Linda has asked that we BCC her on our responses to these questions so that we can keep a tally on the number and origination of the questions.

If you have any more information, please give the ole' heads up!


RefWorks Links in Google Scholar

This morning a patron brought to our attention the disappearance of the "Import into RefWorks" links that typically appear in Google Scholar. The problem was duplicated a number of different ways: authenticated, not authenticated, multiple browsers, Scholar Preferences set accordingly. Nothing worked. I've contacted RefWorks and await their reply, and I will also submit a ticket shortly. If you've experienced any similar problem and figured a solution, please let me know. Once I hear from RefWorks I'll let everyone know.


July 1, 2009

Submit classes for Fall '09 Library Workshops

The link to submit library workshops for Fall '09 is now available. You can link directly to it from this post: https://hsllibs.wufoo.com/forms/class-submissions-fall-2009/. Or link from the Liaison & Instruction or Reference Services wiki pages.

New link for ACP PIER

Hi Everyone,

The link to ACP PIER has changed and it now appears with our other Stat!Ref titles; the new URL is http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/12522 . I have updated MNCAT and it looks like libdata has also been updated to the new URL. Please check any bookmarks or links that you use for morning report or any pages that you author to make sure that the correct URL appears.

This change means that when you do a search in our main Stat!Ref collection it will also pull results from ACP PIER. An@tomy.tv. will remain on its separate account.

Let me know if you have any questions.