Featured Resource: Browzine

This post was written by Jason Mitchell, electronic resources assistant, for the William H. Hannon Library.

Sources! The paper is due next week, it’s required to be 15 pages long with five or more external citations, and you are lost. You know it is a requirement to have references beyond the class textbook. More than that, you are writing on a topic with which you are only vaguely familiar. How often have you turned to Wikipedia for a concise introduction to your subject? I mean, yes, there are better sources, but you are in a hurry.

If I am being honest, this has been my plight more times than I care to count. So, to Wikipedia, I turn, hoping that I can find a place to start in the citations at the bottom of each article. Sources that might take me deeper into the topic, give me reasonable quotes for my paper, and frankly, make me appear as if I am not starting this paper at the very last minute.

We all remember these feelings, and many of us empathize with them. Life happens despite the promise to get started sooner next time, and this sense of overwhelm can be crippling. Sometimes, just one good quote can send you down the rabbit hole of exploration. Other times, it would feel almost life-changing to have full-text access to that article you stumbled upon that is just perfect for your research paper. The William H. Hannon Library has your back with new tools from our partner Third Iron. Primarily focused on easing the access burden to e-journal material, Third Iron offers several unique tools for moments just like these – Libkey Nomad, Libkey IO, and Browzine.

You have searched for your subject on Wikipedia and read through the articles to familiarize yourself with some basics. Finding an interesting quote from a famous source, you wonder if you might use that quote in your paper. You know that you should not be quoting directly from a Wikipedia article. Plus, it might be beneficial to read more of the context behind the quote; writing about that context will add desperately needed length to your paper and allow you to critically engage with the text and the quote — a move that is sure to please any professor. With the Libkey Nomad extension installed, when you scroll to the bottom of the Wikipedia article to see the citation, if the library has access, you will see a “Download PDF” option that will grant you immediate access to the full text of the cited work.

wikipedia citations with special markers on certain articles

This browser extension saves you time by eliminating the need to search multiple locations for access. It helps eliminate one major access hurdle to e-journals by providing direct, unmediated access to the article you are seeking. Finally, integrating into our secure authentication system allows you to log in once and be remembered regardless of where you discover your online resources — the library’s extensive collection of e-journals follow you around the web.

Your preliminary research phase is wrapping up. After wading through a mountain of sources, you are finally ready to begin writing. However, your research has led you to the one source you suspect will push your paper over the top. You are staring at the article homepage but only see options to “purchase access.” You know you could request the article through Illiad, but is there somewhere you could check to avoid waiting for this single article? In this scenario, libkey.io is the solution to your woes.

libkeyio search landing page

Most electronic journal articles are assigned a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) at publication. These DOIs are published prominently on journal article homepages and in citations found in other works and across the web. Perhaps you have seen one; they look like this: “https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60694-8” and are often colloquially referred to as permanent links. When you paste the DOI into the search box on libkey.io, LibKey will search all of our LMU holdings as well as many open access repositories, checking for full-text access to save you time. If full-text access is found, you will be redirected to a page where you can download the full PDF and retrieve a permanent link you can include in your citation.

Keeping up with the latest research is a struggle for many scholars — new and experienced. Having hurried through your paper, you vow to yourself that you will do better next time. Perhaps with a better grasp on the topics within the field, you could have written something more interesting. At the very least, you would have known where to start with your paper and avoided the Wikipedia phase of your research. Browzine is a journal discovery tool that helps you search or browse for the latest journals in your subject area.

Begin by typing a broad subject into the search box, “Psychology.” Browzine will offer all of the psychology journals available to you here at LMU, complete with journal covers and SJR (SCImago journal ranking) scores. Clicking on any journal of interest will list all available issues and link directly to the full text of all articles. Browzine will also provide scoped suggestions for more narrow topics within Psychology — applied psychology, clinical psychology, cognition and perception, neuropsychology, etc. — so that you can focus your interests and refine your research.

As scholars and practitioners in our fields, we know the pressures of research and writing. The librarians at LMU are committed not just to providing you with the quality resources you need to be successful but aim to meet you with these resources in all of the places you search. If you find yourself stuck, bewildered, or in need of a bit of support through your research process, we are here to help. Schedule a research consultation with a librarian to get one-on-one help with using Browzine. Additionally, you can stop by our Information Desk or use virtual chat for immediate support.