When you’re hot on the trail of an article and suddenly the link is broken or the piece mysteriously vanishes, what can you do? Don’t panic! Here are a few things you can try:
Go directly to the database
If you are searching for an article in the QuickSearch bar on the Libraries website, and clicking on the link takes you to an error page, try going directly to that database and performing a search there. You can also take your search terms to other databases related to the subject you are researching, as the article might be available in a different place.
Check for open access options
Like the many Touro faculty who share an open access version of their publications in Touro Scholar, the authors of the paper you are looking for might also have shared their paper in an institutional repository. You might be able to locate an open access version of the article via a search in Google Scholar or by going directly to the institutional repository of the institution with which the authors are affiliated.
Contact a librarian
You don’t have to search alone! If you are having a challenging time finding the article you are looking for, reach out to your campus librarian for assistance. We can help you explore other places where your article might be hiding or help you find another option that suits your research needs.
Email the author
The author of the article you are looking for might be able to send you a copy of it via email. Many researchers are happy to share their work with students and colleagues, but remember that not everyone is able to do so, especially at this time; be patient if you try to get the article this way, and consider other options, especially if you need the article soon.
Request it through Interlibrary Loan
Because many libraries have closed their physical locations during the pandemic, interlibrary loan is limited at this time. Consider this your last choice option if you are not able to track down the article using any of the other approaches listed here and be prepared to seek other options if your request cannot be fulfilled.
In an ideal world, all authors listed on an academic paper would be seen as an equal contributors to the research and of equal importance. However, this is not the case. For a long time, the academic industry has set the precedent that the first author listed on the paper is the primary author who did the most work and is of the most importance. Unfortunately, this precedent has caused much confusion among readers, researchers, and academics alike as to how much each author is worth to each academic paper.
The first author’s name on an academic paper is a much sought after position. The person in this spot often has the good fortune of his or her name associated with the paper, since citation rules often limit in-text citations to the first author’s last name. This causes the rest of the authors in a citation to receive the unfortunate “et al” label. This tradition has led to the assumption that the rest of the authors listed are in descending order of contribution or importance. In addition to the first author listed, the name of the last author listed is also a coveted position since it has been traditionally reserved for the supervisor of a project. In contrast to this traditional way of listing authors, there are a number of other methods used to list authors on a paper:
Alphabetical – This is a method where by authors are listed in alphabetical order regardless of contribution effort. This is very convenient for large group projects.
Contribution statement – This method places an asterisk next to each author’s name, with a statement as to what they directly contributed to the article. This is becoming a more popular method, as many journals now require authors to explain their exact role in the research in addition, it is becoming more popular because it allows for more transparency as to how the research was conducted.
Negotiated order – This is a method whereby authors negotiate and “fight out” among themselves how the author list will be written. This allows all the authors to agree upon how they should be listed based on their efforts. Of course, the downside of this method is that it leaves less powerful members of a research team vying for political support regardless of the work they conducted.
Since there are no rules or standards regarding listing authors, problems can arise from the lack of transparency. The reader has to wonder how much each author actually worked on the research or how much politics played into the decision to list an author first.
There are several solutions to the problem of first author prestige. As listed above, a contribution statement is one of the solutions to this problem. Another solution is ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID). ORCID is a unique identifier that allows an individual researcher to connect his or her articles and work to his or her name, regardless of what order names appear on the author list of an article. This unique identifier also allows an individual researcher to be distinguished from other researchers who have the same name. This allows authors to clarify what work is theirs and what their accomplishments are.
For more information on ORCID, try these websites:
This post was contributed by Annette Carr, Chief Librarian, Bay Shore and was originally published in ‘Significant Results: The Research Newsletter of the School of Health Sciences’ Volume 1, Issue 1. It is reprinted here with permission.
On May 3rd, Touro College held its 5th annual Research Day at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem. Touro College Research Day is an opportunity to share, through poster presentations, the wide scope of exciting research projects accomplished by our faculty and students in the undergraduate and graduate divisions as well as the professional schools. It is also an opportunity to network and to get to know other students and faculty from different Touro campuses, which in turn may bring some future research collaborations. So it is indeed a grand day in the land of Touro. Continue reading →
Are you a Touro College professor? Then chances are you’ve published some sort of work, whether it is a book or a journal article. You may have even had an exhibition of your artwork, or gotten a patent. If this is the case, we’d like to include your work in the Touro College Faculty Publications Database. Continue reading →
I’m not a big fan of numbers, but here’s one I found to be interesting. In the calendar year 2013-2014, Touro Libraries added 8,364* new books to our holdings. (“Holdings” – from the language of librarianship, meaning stuff we own.) That’s a load of books. For the most part, these were items which we purchased, selected by site librarians to support classes taught at their specific Touro locations. (For example, Midtown has strength in education, Jewish studies, social work, psychology, clinical medicine, and profession specific literature for physician assistants, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. To see the strengths of your location, find it on the list, then click on “more information”.) Continue reading →