ProQuest Research Companion supports information literacy, writing, and research skills instruction, providing a companion to instruction sessions and allowing librarians and instructors to focus on teaching more complex research and writing principles.
Developed by writing instructors and librarians, ProQuest Research Companion is comprised of ten learning modules and five interactive tools—all designed to automate the key elements of the research process.
Once you sign in with your TouroOne credentials, you’ll find videos, tools, and recommended resources to help you “Find Information,” “Evaluate Information,” and “Use Information.” The modules start by sharing how you can begin your research project and select a topic and progress through the steps to reflecting on your project and how you can improve.
Whether you are an experienced researcher or just starting your academic journey, ProQuest Research Companion can be a helpful tool.
What a year it has been! Despite the challenges 2020 has brought, the Touro Libraries have been working hard to support Touro’s students, faculty, and staff with research help, information literacy instruction, and more. We have tried some new services and carried on with some existing ones, and now, we want to know what you think of these offerings.
Welcome to a new semester at Touro! The Touro College Libraries are thrilled to share this exciting time with you and have put together a short video to celebrate this new beginning. Whether you are new to Touro or a returning student, we hope you enjoy it!
Do you need a journal article faster than you can say “database”?
You’re in luck! The TC Libraries are excited to share LibKey, which allows easy access to PDF downloads when using the QuickSearch function on the TC Libraries homepage.
As part of the Libraries’ BrowZine subscription, LibKey’s quick access means you can skip the work of navigating to the database and checking for access to an article there or seeking out an open access version. There is nothing you need to do to turn LibKey on; it is automatically enabled.
And, if you’re on the move, LibKey Nomad is an extension which allows you to find full-text articles in the Touro Libraries databases via citations across the web, from PubMed to Wikipedia. Once you have installed the extension in your browser, the LibKey icon will appear by links on other websites, allowing you to see if there is an available article.
Do you engage in the time-honored tradition of staying awake throughout the night to prepare for exams or produce written assignment? Perhaps you need the quiet of the small hours, or the focus that only a fast-approaching deadline can provide. Would you rather start your work when all the people around you are fluffing their pillows and ducking under their blankies? Only you (and possibly your family, friends, and significant other) know if you are a night-owl. There is no shame in your game! But what do you do when the world is on a 9-5 schedule and you are not?
Don’t worry — the Touro Libraries have got you! We offer remote reference through “U Ask…We Answer!” an instant messaging service powered by Springshare Library Software and your helpful Touro Libraries librarians. We are online 12/24 (9 to 9 EST, or thereabouts) 5 days per week, waiting to Chat with you. You can reach us from the QuickSearch results page, by clicking on the “Chat Live” tab located at the upper right corner:
Or by clicking the Ask-A-Librarian image in the upper right corner of the Libraries homepage:
When we are online, the Chat portion of the page will contain several blank text fields. We request your name, Touro email address, campus location and question. This information will be transferred to the librarian waiting online, at the ready to assist.
But what happens when we are not online, and you still have a question? You have some options. You can always email us your question, and we will email you with a written response. To do this, click on the email icon:
A form will magically appear where you can input your question and email address.
You will receive your answer within 24-48 hours.
Yikes! That’s a long time, especially when time is of the essence. But as I said, we’ve got you! If you didn’t reach us on Chat because you didn’t think of your question until after midnight, there is a second option.
You can search the FAQs (frequently asked questions) contained in the UAsk… WeAnswer! knowledge base.
When we are offline, put a keyword in the blank text box and search. Questions previously asked using that keyword will be returned, and you can review any or all answers.
You also have the option of searching the knowledge base at any time, even when we are on Chat, by clicking on the question mark icon.
This search will give you access to all the previously asked question and answer sets (asked by actual Touro students, faculty, alumni and staff), but arranged by popularity and currency.
You can search by keyword, topic, or, if you are in the mood, browse through all question and answer sets. As more questions are asked, additional FAQs will be added to the knowledge base. Hopefully, this will increase the likelihood that your question will be included. While you might not find the answer to “How do I get the PDF of an article I need right now?” the FAQs will explain why it wasn’t in the databases and further action for you to take to obtain it. At 2 a.m., it’s sure better than nothing.
This post was contributed by Carol Schapiro, Librarian, Midtown Library
On August 11, Ex Libris/ProQuest provided a quarterly update about RefWorks, a citation manager to which the Touro College Libraries subscribe and one which we recommend for organizing research at all levels. There were some key changes and additions that will make navigating RefWorks easier — but your librarians are always available to help you, too.
A new “Top Frequently Asked Questions” page has been added to the Customer Knowledge Center (a site with information about and support for common RefWorks issues):
If those options do not suit your needs or the needs of your students, you can create (or request the creation of) an institutional version of the APA 7th edition citation style and mark it as a favorite. RefWorks administrators can also create citation styles for specific departments or classes.
The final key update from the presentation is particularly good news for everyone working from home: the RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM) add-on is now available for Word Online (i.e., the version available when working in Box) and can be installed from the Microsoft store.
Within RCM, users can now toggle the bibliography on and off, so that a file will load faster when you are working online — you just need to make sure to leave it “on” when you are finished and ready to submit!
For more information on RefWorks, please see our guide to ProQuest RefWorks or schedule an appointment with a librarian.
Copyright is complicated — there is no doubt about it. It overlaps with a lot of other issues in academic integrity and scholarship, including plagiarism. While copyright infringement and plagiarism can and do sometimes occur at the same time, they are separate concerns.
Plagiarism is using someone’s ideas or words and passing them off as your own or not giving the original author credit. Copyright infringement is using someone’s copyright materials — visual works, literary works, or otherwise — without permission (and without a fair use or other legal exemption). This includes sharing works, making copies of the work, and editing or remixing the work, among other actions.
Using Your Own Work
Whether you can use your own copyrighted works depends on what your publisher allows. For example, to make copies of an article you wrote to give to your friends, you might need to get permission from the publisher if you signed away your right to distribute your work in your author contract. This can be especially frustrating, so it is important to carefully review your publishing contracts and add an addendum when necessary.
Self-plagiarism is another mistake to watch out for. Self-plagiarism occurs when you use work that you have previously published in a new work, without referencing your previous publication. It is important to let readers know the scholarly history of your thought, especially in scientific research; for students, self-plagiarism can result in academic dishonesty sanctions.
Q: Adam uses several sentences from his dissertation in a new research paper he is writing; since he is using his own work, he decides not to cite it. What’s wrong with this scenario?
A: This is self-plagiarism.
Q: Beatrice is part of a book group with other members of the physics department. She thinks they would really like copies of her dissertation, which was published as a book last year by a commercial publisher. She doesn’t want them to have to buy the book, so she makes copies of it for each of them. What’s wrong with this scenario?
Perhaps you are wondering what copyright is exactly? Basically, copyright is a set exclusive rights for authors which grant them legal control over who can use their work and in what ways. Licenses are terms which allow authors to transfer or forgo all or some of these rights, like in traditional book deals or article publishing. Creative Commons licenses are perhaps the easiest and most transparent way to license content and ensure a wider audience for your works now and in the future.
Sometimes we forget that we live in a transitionary period between print and digital media technologies. Publishing models from the first scholarly journal onward were tied to print technology and the materials and labor costs involved with advertising, reviewing, typesetting, printing, and distributing scholarly works.
Open Access arose out of the revolutionary potential of networked digital computers. Instead of waiting for their works to appear in print journals, scholars began sharing their papers with each other via email. By the 1990’s, having websites that host these preprints allowed for greater and more organized sharing. Arxiv.org (pronounced ‘archive’) was one of the first of these repositories.
Open Access journals allow for rigorous peer review, sometimes replacing the infrastructure supplied by commercial publishers with their own internet platforms. While there are many economic models for Open Access journals (and repositories), their goal is to provide immediate and free online availability to readers.
Happy Open Education Week! At Touro College Libraries, we are celebrating all things open education this week (and the rest of the year too). Follow this blog, and our social media accounts (@tourolibraries), and check out our bulletin board outside of the Midtown Library.
What would you do if you had an extra $175 to spend?
One Touro student saved that much in one semester when her professors used OER, or open educational resources, instead of traditional textbooks. OER, as defined by the Hewlett Foundation, “are high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to use and repurpose.” These materials can include test banks, lesson plans, and assignment templates, but most commonly, the term OER is associated with textbooks.
In the definition of OER, free means both free of costs and free when it comes to the application of copyrights. OER are licensed under Creative Commons, or are simply in the public domain, which means they can be distributed, adapted, copied, edited —basically you name it — without legal repercussions.
And, as that student who saved $175 put it, “Open textbooks are helping me drastically cut costs associated with pursuing my undergraduate degree and I am now able to apply these funds towards other things including tuition payments. It makes my life easier since typically at the end of each semester I am left with these books that I will likely never use again that just take up space as they sometimes can’t be resold.”
Despite such positive student experiences, myths about OER abound:
Myth #1: Open simply means free. Fact: Open means the permission to freely download, edit, and share materials to better serve all students.
Myth #2: All OER are digital. Fact: OER take many formats, including print, digital, audio, and more.
Myth #3: “You get what you pay for.” Fact: OER can be produced to the same quality standards as traditional textbooks.
Myth #4: Copyright for OER is complicated Fact: Open licensing makes OER easy to freely and legally use.
Myth #5: OER are not sustainable. Fact: Models are evolving to support the sustainability and continuous improvement of OER.
Myth #6: Open textbooks lack ancillaries. Fact: Open textbooks often come with ancillaries, and when they do not, existing OER can provide additional support.
Myth #7: My institution is not ready for OER. Fact: Any institution can start with small steps toward OER that make an impact for students.
Faculty across Touro are already adopting and adapting OER textbooks for their courses.
For example, the psychology department faculty at NYSCAS have adopted OER for their GPSN 110 course, and because of this, over 290 students across more than 12 sections have benefited from free, open textbooks.
Since the Open Touro initiative was established in Fall 2018, the use of OER has saved Touro students over $54,000 collegewide.
You can help increase that number by adopting, adapting, or even authoring your own OER — and librarians are here to help!
Our second poet faculty for National Poetry Month is Professor Helen Mitsios. She holds an MA in English and American Literature from Arizona State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. Professor Mitsios is an award-winning poet and author of the collection If Black Had A Shadow. Click here to see a list of her poems on Touro Scholar, our institutional repository. She teaches literature at NYSCAS, a division of Touro College. Keep reading to learn what has inspired her to write poetry and how she connects poetry to teaching and learning. What prompted you to write poetry?
I wrote poetry even in grade school. But it wasn’t until I read Letters to a Stranger by Thomas James that I wanted to become a “real” poet and learn the poetic art of moving the emotions in my writing–the emotions being, after all, the basis of everything. I thank my professor, the celebrated poet Norman Dubie, for introducing me to James in an undergrad poetry class I took at Arizona State University.
In what form/style do you compose your poems? Lyric poetry
What is the role of poetry in your teaching? Or how do you think poetry has an impact on students and their learning?
In teaching, I stress quality over quantity. Of course, both are necessary.
Well, I’m biased of course, but I think studies that promote creativity also lead to innovation in fields like business, science, and medicine. For example, it’s why Harvard University admits artists and poets to their MBA program.
Contributed by Professor Helen Mitsios, Language and Literature, NYSCAS, Touro College.