research

Library Transitions from Nexis Uni to Access World News and WestLaw Campus Research

Beginning on June 30, the Northeastern University Library is no longer subscribing to the database Nexis Uni, transitioning instead to a pair of databases – Access World News and Westlaw Campus Research – that together provide even more news and law resources through much easier user interfaces.

Why replace Nexis Uni?
Over the years, Nexis Uni has been removing much of its content while steadily increasing its prices. That combination, along with a difficult-to-use interface, has led many libraries and institutions to cancel their subscriptions and put money toward more cost-effective and user-friendly databases and resources.

Access World News database logo

What new databases should I be using instead?
For the cost of Nexis Uni, the Library was able to acquire access to two new databases that, together, provide much of the same content in a far easier-to-use format. Access World News Research Collection from Newsbank includes current and archived news content from more than 12,700 sources, spanning over 200 countries and territories and combining all formats (full-text articles, web-only content, and PDF image collections) in a single interface. You can browse Access’ full list of sources here.

Westlaw logo

For legal and business content, Westlaw Campus Research contains primary and secondary legal sources including statutes, codes, and case law, as well as the American Jurisprudence legal encyclopedia. On the business side, it contains tools like Hoover’s and the Company Investigator, which provides public and private company information and hard-to-find information on small businesses and partnerships. It also can be used to prepare company reports using visual graphics. This reference guide provides detailed information how to use Westlaw.

Other databases also provide useful news resources, including Factiva (which includes access to business news, including the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s); Pressreader (which covers daily news in more than 100 countries); and ProQuest News and Newspapers (which includes current and archival access to newspapers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and Los Angeles Times, as well as more than 80 local and regional titles).

In addition, Northeastern University students, faculty, and staff can access the Wall Street Journal‘s website by using their NU credentials by going to wsj.com/northeastern.

For more information on available resources, please contact your subject librarian!

Archives Research Project Included in “The Teaching with Primary Sources Cookbook”

Take 2 library professionals.
Add 25 high school students.
Mix in a specially curated collection of archival materials.
And let simmer over a 90-minute class period.

Cover image of The Teaching with Primary Sources Cookbook, edited by Julie M. Porterfield

This is the recipe Reference and Outreach Librarian Molly Brown and Arts, Humanities, and Experiential Learning Library Regina Pagani have perfected while working with students and teachers from the Boston Public Schools over the past few years and it is now included in The Teaching with Primary Sources Cookbook, a collection of first-hand accounts from librarians, archivists, and other educators who use primary sources to teach information literacy skills to various audiences.


Brown and Pagani’s project is detailed in chapter 28 and titled “A Potluck of Expertise: Inviting Boston Public Schools’ Juniors to Use Northeastern’s Archives and Special Collections’ Pantry to Build Their Recipes.” They detail an ongoing project they have developed with BPS educators Chris Madsen and Katherine Petta where students work in groups to write a biography of an activist who advocated for racial equality in Boston’s public schools, using primary sources from the Archives’ vast social justice collections.

Regina Pagani and Molly Brown teach a class of students in the Archives Reading Room
Regina Pagani and Molly Brown (standing) lead Lucy Maulsby’s architecture class on a lesson in archival research, similar to the types of classes they teach to BPS juniors. Photo courtesy of Mary Hughes.

The chapter provides a detailed account of the project, with suggestions for ways to alter it based on different archives’ collections. The 2021 edition of The Teaching with Primary Sources Cookbook, edited by Julie M. Porterfield, is available through the American Library Association.

To learn more about the different ways Brown, Pagani and other Northeastern University Library staff members have utilized the Archives’ unique collections to teach primary source research to students at Northeastern and at the Boston Public Schools, visit the Teaching with Archives page.

New Northeastern Commons Coordinator to Help Develop Online Community

Meg McMahon smilingin front of some plantsEarlier this month, Northeastern University Library welcomed Meg McMahon (they/she) as the inaugural Northeastern Commons Coordinator. In this new position, Meg will work to help shape the Northeastern Commons into a vibrant online community for users across the Northeastern campuses. Northeastern Commons is still in its initial creation stage, so most of Meg’s first months will be working with campus stakeholders to create a roadmap for its creation. To give an idea of what Northeastern Commons might be, here is a small list of its possible functionalities:
  • A platform where professors will be able to create classroom groups and sites for students to collaborate on class projects.
  • A platform where all users will be able to self-create campus interest groups to collaborate on similar research interests across departments and titles, leading to great interdisciplinary research.
  • A platform with a searchable directory of research happening at Northeastern, where if a research interest is searched, a list of people, groups, and articles would be yielded.
Most importantly, Northeastern Commons will be an online hub for students, faculty, researchers, and others to collaborate across the Northeastern Global Campuses while learning together. Meg completed her MS in Information Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2020. There, they worked in multiple library departments, including the research and instruction department, the makerspace, and the user experience department. A unifying thread across her work was collaboration with others on creating programming or services that focused on user/student/research needs. They strongly believe that user experience, critical pedagogy, and accessibility should be a focus when creating any platform in higher education and plan to focus on all three while helping shape the Northeastern Commons. Being a born-and-raised Wisconsinite, Meg went to the University of Wisconsin at Madison and graduate with a BS in Art Education and Communication Arts—Communication Science and Rhetorical Studies. When she is not working, you can find her sewing her own clothes, rating movies on Letterboxd, attempting to roller skate, and shamelessly scrolling through Tiktok.

Music Online Databases Expand Access to Recordings and Scores

Echoes of Love Around the World album cover

Echoes of Love Around the World. Recorded January 1, 2019. ARC, 2019, Streaming Audio.

The Music Online database has long provided access to streaming recordings, scores, and scholarly information from the Jazz Library, Smithsonian Global Sound, Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and Classical Scores collections. New content has recently been added to this repertoire. You may search each database separately or across the entire Music Online platform.

American Music is a history database that has songs by and about Native Americans, miners, immigrants, slaves, children, pioneers, and cowboys. Included are the songs of the Civil Rights movement, political campaigns, Prohibition, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, anti-war protests, and more.

Classical Music Library includes more than 76,000 albums from the Medieval period through current times. This database is an excellent complement to the library’s Naxos and Database of Recorded American Music collections.

Classical Scores Library now contains Volumes 2-4, in addition to Volume 1. These scores provide a reliable and authoritative source for scores of the classical canon, as well as a resource for the discovery of lesser-known contemporary works. It includes full, study, piano, and vocal scores.

Contemporary World Music delivers the sounds of all regions from every continent. The database contains important genres such as reggae, worldbeat, neo-traditional world fusion, Balkanic jazz, African film, Bollywood, Arab swing and jazz, and other genres such as traditional music like Indian classical, fado, flamenco, klezmer, zydeco, gospel, gagaku, and more.

Popular Music Library contains a wide range of popular music from around the world, including hundreds of thousands of tracks from major genres in pop music, including alternative, country, electronic, hip-hop, metal, punk, new age, R&B, reggae, rock, soundtracks, and many more.

For more information about other library streaming media collections, check out the Streaming Media guide.

 

Using the LibKey Nomad Browser Extension to Simplify Off-Campus Access

Have you ever found yourself on an academic site that you think you should be able to use but are unable to see the material? Accessing Northeastern’s licensed resources while off-campus can be complicated for students, faculty, and staff. Especially right now, when so many researchers are studying or working from home, sites that you may have had automatic access to while on campus may not be as readily available.

Using links from Scholar OneSearch or the Databases A-Z list is the best way to ensure seamless off-campus access, but sometimes you may find your way to an academic article through another avenue and may not be sure if Northeastern users have licensed access or not. The LibKey Nomad browser extension can help to bridge these gaps and either establish access to third-party platforms or provide alternate options for the content.

To use LibKey Nomad, visit thirdiron.com/downloadnomad and choose your browser. Upon installation, you’ll be prompted to choose Northeastern University from a drop-down list of organizations:

LibKey Nomad screenshot

After this one-time selection, if Nomad can establish access when browsing a site that hosts academic articles or e-books, Nomad will display a “Download PDF” button in the bottom left-hand corner of the page which will link directly to a PDF of the material:

LibKey article screenshot

If Nomad can’t establish access, it will instead show an “Access Options” button which will link you to the citation in Scholar OneSearch to check for other potential modes of access or offer a link to request the item through interlibrary loan:

LibKey screenshot PDF

Please note that not all resources will work with Nomad, particularly single magazine websites such as the Economist, Foreign Policy, or the Wall Street Journal. Check the Databases A-Z list for a proxied link if you believe Northeastern has access to a resource or ask the library for assistance. LibKey Nomad is currently compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi browsers.