Archive for October, 2011

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It’s Open Access Week

October 25, 2011

This week hits home for me in a new way this year, as I am currently unaffiliated with an academic institution, and thus (at least formally and legally) unable to access subscription databases like Jstor, L’Annee Philologique, and so forth. I’m not alone – the informal poll Chuck Jones is running on AWOL suggests that 45% of responding readers do not have access to Jstor. (Note for those in my boat – if you visit your local University, you can probably get access to these databases for free while in their library, but not on wireless or off campus. Local policies may vary, but in general University libraries welcome serious people who want to do research in their library buildings. Look for the Reference Desk, sometimes called Research Services, and ask about guest or visiting scholar access.)

Last year I did an introductory post on Open Access Week for classicists; you might click through for a refresher.

I also used the occasion of Open Access Week in 2010 to debut the Ancient World Open Bibliographies blog, which collects open-access bibliographies for ancient studies.  The blog begat a wiki which now lists and links to over 450 bibliographies, with a special focus on the classical world, but with broad coverage of the lands around the Mediterranean and some dips into places further abroad.  I celebrate all those scholars who have made their bibliographies – valuable research tools – available to the internet-enabled public.  Thank you!

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Updates from L’Annee Philologique

October 18, 2011

While I was away, the APA blog (which is a useful one to follow in general, especially for calls for proposals for conferences in the US) posted a valuable update on  L’Annee online, including both content and technological upgrades.

Content:

  • Volume 80 (2009) was added in August.
  • 2200 records from Volume 81 (2010) were added in June, and all of Volume 81 (2010) will be available at the end of 2011.  Nice to see them getting so prompt!

New Features:

  • Set alerts for searches that you’ve done and saved in your history. The online user guide gives directions for doing this. I haven’t tried it, but the blog post says this searches  new updates to the database and sends you an email.  Since L’Annee does not update very frequently, this is less useful than search alerts in other article databases which update weekly or even daily, but still worth a try if you tend to forget to check L’Annee.
  • L’Annee offers an RSS feed of all new entries. Again, nice feature, but given the way L’Annee currently updates, a dump 2-3 times a year of thousands of new entries via RSS might be overwhelming! If you use an RSS reader that allows you to filter or search entries, this might work for you.
  • L’Annee online is now Z39.50-compliant (Z39.50 is a library tech standard for interoperability). The practical result of this for users is that EndNote users can now download a filter that will allow them to search L’Annee online from within EndNote.  Download the .enz file posted on the APA web site to do this.