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February 24, 2010

RefWorks 2.0 Webinars

Hi all,

You may have heard that RefWorks is going to be rolling out a new version. This 2.0 version of RefWorks consists of cosmetic changes only, no functionality is changed. I don't know if we are going to be pointing to the new version of RW when it comes out, or whether we are going to stay on the 'classic' view for awhile.

In either case, RW is offering webinars on the 2.0 interface. You can use this link to sign up for these.


Two Meebos in One! Ref-A & Ref-B

Hi all -

I've gotten caught a few times at the Reference Desk by a new incoming chat while also helping a patron. Since we can't transfer Meebo chats, we've always moved the patron to the second station - less that optimal customer service.

To work around this problem, I've installed Meebo Notifier on the second Reference computer. Chats will now appear on both Reference computers, so new chats can be responded to without interrupting an ongoing transaction.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


February 18, 2010

RefWorks - User Fields and Global Edit

Hi all,

I believe there is a class out there that has been assigned to use RefWorks' User fields to attach notes to imported citations. You can get to the User fields by editing individual citations, but these students will want to apply consistent notes to sets of newly imported citations.

They can do this by using the Global edit option from the Last Imported Folder (or any other folder). See below for a snap. global edit.jpg

I'd never used this option before, so I thought I'd throw it out there.


February 17, 2010

E-books purchased through CIC

Hello All,

The University Libraries have jointly purchased approximately 3,000 e-books through the CIC.

They come from Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley. Title lists available here: https://wiki.lib.umn.edu/CDM/ElectronicResources#EBooks

We don't know when the Wiley & Elsevier records will be available to add to our catalog, but we can currently access these books through the publishers' websites and patrons can find them via Google.

Let Technical Services know if you have any questions!
- Nicole Z.

February 16, 2010

Google Chrome - Early Adopter Pitfalls

Many of our users seem to be enthusiastically adopting Google Chrome, but it has proved problematic with at least a couple of common resources, specifically Elsevier PDFs and Micromedex. It's always good practice to suggest users try using a different browser when troubleshooting e-access problems, and you may want to question whether they're using Chrome, in particular.

Please post or comment if you find additional resources that aren't currently working with Chrome.


Basic Searches - Boolean Operators in Ovid

I got a question at the reference desk about why the Boolean buttons are inaccessible when basic search is selected. Here is the answer I received from Ovid.


Why it is not encouraged to combine Basic Searches with Boolean operators

Since the release of OvidSP 2.1, we have received a great deal of feedback on combining Basic Searches with Boolean operators, a feature partially disabled with the 2.1 release. In an attempt to discourage users from combining these searches, we have made the Boolean buttons inaccessible when one or more Basic Searches are selected. Users can always combine these searches manually by typing in the appropriate syntax (i.e., 3 AND 5).

We've had a number of questions as to why it is not encouraged to combine Basic Searches. Basic Search uses Natural Language Processing in order to retrieve relevant results from an entire query. Unlike basic keyword searches, which simply look for words entered and determine relevancy based on frequency, Basic Search utilizes a proprietary algorithm in order to determine relevancy of a complex phrase or question.

In order to explain why it is best to allow Basic Search to process relevancy rather than combining single terms in keyword searches, let's look at how Basic Search would process the following example.

A good example of how to use Basic Search Properly is the following question:

1 What is the effect of low thyroid function on heart failure?

OvidSP's Basic Search will take the above question and parse it through the NLP algorithm to find articles that contain all terms within the query and determine relevancy based on how the words appear, how closely they appear, how frequently they appear, how closely phrases within an article align with the original query, etc. This will provide a very accurate relevancy calculation, because OvidSP takes the entire breadth of information that the user in interested in, and compiles it into relevant results.

By contrast, if a user were to attempt to perform keyword searches and combine them in Basic Search, it might go something like this:

2 Low Thyroid Function

OvidSP will execute a search and, with very little to go on, will attempt to calculate relevancy and will do so mostly by the frequency of the terms entered, searching for articles primarily about low thyroid function. Unlike the Keyword option in Advanced Ovid Search, Basic Search will not find ALL results, but rather the most relevant results. These results may or may not contain any information on heart failure.

3 Heart Failure

As with the above query, Basic Search will attempt to find the most relevant articles on Heart Failure -- not ALL results containing Heart Failure, and not necessarily containing any articles having to do with low thyroid function.

4 2 AND 3

By combining the two above statements, we will get only the small cross-section of articles from each search that contains elements of both Heart Failure and Low Thyroid Function. While we will surely get some results, the effect is not ideal; Results that were discarded by the original searches will not appear. Additionally, using the AND operator will display articles in which both queries appear, regardless of their association to each other within the article. The topics within the article could be discussed as two separate issues, meaning one term could appear at the beginning of an article and one at the end, which undermines the relevancy ranking of Basic Search.

Stated another way, a Basic Search that produces the most relevant articles about low thyroid function will not necessarily include articles about low thyroid function and heart failure.

February 9, 2010

Reference Computer B and Remote Access

Peter Weinhold has just informed me that we can once again use Reference Computer B to mimic remote access. I tested it with Ovid Medline and Peter tested it with Micromedex and we were both prompted for our x.500 user name and password. Let me know if you have problems with this working in the future.