EasyBib will make your life easier

easy bibWorking on a research paper or project? Save time and make your life easier by using EasyBib! As a WOU student, you can create a *free* premium account.

What is EasyBib? It’s an online tool that helps you organize your research sources and create citations in APA, MLA, or Chicago/Turabian formats. Using EasyBib, you can create a new project for each of your research assignments and store your bibliography for as long as you’re working on the assignment — or longer, it’s up to you. You can add notes to individual sources reminding yourself how you’d like to use them in your paper. And you can reuse sources for different projects in the future, even automatically changing to another citation style if necessary.

Access EasyBib here or from the library homepage under Accounts –> EasyBib to sign up for your free, premium account and get started. For more info, check out this video tutorial.

It’s OK to order things OnDemand!

When you run across an article in your research that is available through “Get It Now” or “OnDemand,” don’t let that stop you from getting the article you need.

These terms mean that Hamersly doesn’t have access to the journal that published the article you are looking for, but we can still get the article for you. In order to get access, you will go through a short process – since the library pays (on average around $30) each time an article is viewed through the Articles OnDemand provider’s website, we want to make sure you actually want the article. We budget for Articles OnDemand use though, so we want you to use it when you need it! We simply ask that you:

  • Read the abstract of each article to determine how likely it is to suit your needs before viewing the full text and incurring charges.
  • Be sure to save the article somewhere you will be able to get back to it (e.g. your H:/ drive, My Documents folder on your personal computer, a USB drive) so that the library only pays for it once.

Happy researching!

One more reason to plan ahead when researching

There are two systems through which WOU students, faculty, and staff can obtain books from other libraries that we don’t have in Hamersly: Summit and Interlibrary Loan. What does this mean for you? It’s a matter of time: Summit items get to you in 3-5 days, while Interlibrary Loan items take longer, sometimes up to two weeks.

Summit logoSummit is the shared catalog and borrowing system of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of academic libraries in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. This special partnership makes it faster for us to borrow items from Summit libraries and for this reason, it is used to request most books, videos, and CDs that WOU does not own. Interlibrary Loan, consisting of all libraries except the Summit libraries, is used to request articles from journals and any books, videos, and CDs not available in Summit libraries.

The moral of the story? If WOU doesn’t have what you need, request through Summit when possible. If requesting through Interlibrary Loan is your only option, just be aware that it will likely take longer than you’re used to with Summit. No matter what system, however, the library can almost always get you what you need!

“Can I send someone to check out those books?”

We often get asked if a family member, friend, or graduate assistant can pick up materials on behalf of a borrower. Our system now makes it easier for us to manage these requests by documenting a borrower’s proxy. As a Hamersly Library patron, you may grant permission for another person (or persons) to check out materials from the library on your account.designate a proxy to checkout library materials

Proxies can pick up materials that arrive for you through Summit and Interlibrary Loan, and Hamersly-owned items that are on hold for you.

You can designate a proxy for just a few days, to accommodate an illness perhaps, or longer term, for continued access–it’s up to you.

Connect Google Scholar to WOU for full text access

Google ScholarRule #1 of using Google Scholar to do research for your class assignments: never pay for an article. Rule #2 of using Google Scholar to do research for your class assignments: never, ever pay for an article!

In many cases, links to full text scholarly articles (like the kind that Google Scholar finds) are through subscription sources. The library pays for subscriptions to many of these sources already so that you, as a WOU student, can access them for free. But Google Scholar doesn’t know you’re a WOU student, and so it will often ask you to pay for the full text of the article results it provides.

That is, unless you tell Google Scholar you are a WOU student! You do this by changing your “Library links” settings in Google Scholar. Want to see how to change these settings? Watch this short video.

Once you change this setting, Google will recognize you as a WOU student and will show you “Find It @ WOU” links with your results. Get more info & tips for searching Google Scholar here.

Important tips for researching with Google Scholar

Google ScholarRule #1 of using Google Scholar to do research for your class assignments: never pay for an article.

Rule #2 of using Google Scholar to do research for your class assignments: never, ever pay for an article!

In many cases, links to full text scholarly articles (like the kind that Google Scholar finds) are through subscription sources. The library pays for subscriptions to many of these sources already so that you, as a WOU student, can access them for free. But Google Scholar doesn’t know you’re a WOU student,and so it will often ask you to pay for the full text of the article results it provides.

That is, unless you tell Google Scholar you are a WOU student! You do this by changing your “Library links” settings in Google Scholar. google scholar settings

Once you change this setting, Google will recognize you as a WOU student – provided you are signed into your Google account when you search (e.g. by signing into the Portal or into your email). Want to see how to change these settings? Watch this short video.

If you’re signed in and have set your “Library links” to connect to WOU databases, Google Scholar will show you the “Find It @ WOU” link with your results. This link will give you access to the full text of the scholarly article if possible, or it will tell you how to request the article you want through the library. Either way, you don’t have to pay for it!google scholar find it at wou

More tips for using Google Scholar:

  • Google Scholar doesn’t have everything. You will find the most results in science and technology and the least results in the humanities. If you are searching for a topic in the humanities, try searching in a database specific to your subject.
  • Find a good article on your topic? Google Scholar gives you a list of other articles that have cited the article you are looking at. So if you find a good article, this will help you find more just like it. Look for the “Cited by” link to use this feature.google scholar cited by
  • Try to only use first initials when searching for author names. Many articles only include the first initial of the author.
  • Google Scholar casts a wide net when searching, which often means you initially get an overwhelming number of results and will need to make your search more specific. Using the “advanced search” feature is the easiest way to narrow your results. The advanced search form will pop up if you click on the arrow on the right end of the Google Scholar search box. From there, you can fill in more search information.

google scholar advanced searchgoogle scholar advanced search form

New library system is live

Primo logoIt’s here! Our new library system is now up and running. The biggest change for you, as a library user, will likely be the new online search interface called Primo, which you will use to locate library materials within Hamersly Library and at our Summit partner libraries.

Find Primo at the top of the library homepage and try it out. If you find any bugs or have questions, please let us know, and know that we will be working in the weeks to come to smooth out the bumps that inevitably come with a large-scale project like this one.

Speaking of which…here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin to use the new catalog in these early days: 

More about new library system

  • For quick answers to the most commonly asked questions about the new system (such as, why did the library make this change?, what is this thing called Primo?, what about my favorite database, has it changed?) take a look at our FAQ. We are continuing to add to this as we encounter new questions and issues.
  • WorldCat, Primo, and Research databases are elements of a complete searchSearching in Primo can get you different types of results depending on the options you choose. However, even though there is a lot of material searchable in Primo, it does not include everything. Here are a couple examples:
  • Once you do an initial search in Primo and are on the results page, look to the upper-right corner for the sign-in link. We strongly encourage you to sign in as it helps you get better results and is the only way you can order books through Summit. A couple more things about the sign-in that you should know for now:
    • Once you click on the link to sign in, you will be taken to page where you can sign in with your WOU Pawprint ID and password.
    • The first time you sign in, you will be prompted to “Personalize Your Results.” In addition to selecting one or more subject areas of interest, you can indicate your “Degree,” which is simply a way of asking what part of the WOU community you belong to (student, staff member, etc.) If you are a member of faculty, the best option on the menu at this point is “Researcher.” Selecting these options will provide better search result relevance rankings for you. You can also skip this personalization, however, and/or change your settings later.

We appreciate your patience during this transition and are committed to maintaining library services at the level that you expect and require. As always, please feel free to let us know if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns about the new system. 

Academic Excellence Showcase online schedule is up

Academic Excellence Showcase 2014The annual, campus-wide Academic Excellence Showcase is coming up on Thursday, May 29. Use the online schedule to help you navigate this busy day.

With the online schedule you can:

  • Browse all campus presentations or jump to a specific department
  • Search for a particular presenter by name or keyword
  • Plan your day by downloading individual session information to a Google Calendar
  • Share and promote sessions electronically via email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media