Hopefully you know the library and all its resources are here to help you in your studies. Our online resources are available to you 24/7. In this blog, I would like to highlight two of the online resources . The lucky two resources are Gale Databases and Opposing Viewpoints in Context.
To easiest way to access these online resources, as well as, the other databases the library subscribes to is through Blackboard. After you are in BB, click on Library on the top right part of the page and then click on Find Journals/Other Online Resources. In the list of resources, you will find both Gale Databases and Opposing Viewpoints. Each resource has the option of clicking for more information about the resource and also clicking on a link that leads you to the actual database.
I highly recommend that you spend at least a few moments looking at the information about how to use the resource. Think of it as an owner’s manual; not that much fun to read but after reading it, you are now empowered to use the database to its full advantage. It will show you how to limit your findings and help you find articles you need to support your paper.
You are also able to access all the library’s online resources from the Central Penn website. Click on College Services and then click Library. Click on online resources on the right. Offsite, you may be prompted to enter your Blackboard user ID and password.
Gale Databases include full-text, peer reviewed scholarly articles that cover just about any topic imaginable. Academic OneFile is the first database listed and it is one of the best places to start searching. It is a general database covering a wide range of topics. The Gale databases can be searched individually, a few at a time, or all at once. Simply click beside the name of the database you would like to search, and then click the Continue button at the top of the database list. Examples of other databases within Gale are the Computer Database and the Health Reference Center. Included in our subscription are a number of specialty collections. These are databases made up of sources that pertain specifically to an area of study. Examples of these databases include the War and Terrorism Collection, Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Collection, and the Small Business Collection.
One neat feature Gale’s Academic OneFile database has is the “Topic Finder”. It is especially helpful if you have found too much information and need to whittle it down to a more manageable topic. Do a search and then on the results page, look for Analyze and Topic Finder on the right side of the page. There are two visualization tools, a wheel and a tiled version to help you in limiting your research topic. This is a great tool especially if you are a visual learner!
About Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Have a report on or interest in a contemporary social issue; then you should know about Opposing Viewpoints.
Opposing Viewpoints is an online library of current event topics available through Gale. It is useful for finding information on contemporary social issues such as censorship, immigration, stem cell research, terrorism and many more. This database provides viewpoint essays, reference sources, statistics, magazine and newspaper articles, primary documents and recommended websites and images (when available) to present various sides of an issue. The contents include:
• Pro and con viewpoint articles especially helpful for debate assignments.
• Full-text magazines, academic journals, and newspapers.
• Statistical tables, charts and graphs.
• Podcasts, including weekly presidential addresses and NPR programs
I recommended that you look at the link in the Library section of Blackboard that tells you how to use Opposing Viewpoints. You will be better equipped to get the best use out of this resource.