Urban Studies Abstracts and Research

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About Urban Studies Abstracts

Urban Studies Abstracts, our featured resource, is a collection of abstracts and trade publications that describe urban planning. Trade publications specialize in a specific trade or industry, while abstracts condense a large amount of research into a summary. This information includes urban affairs, community development, history and urban planning. This collection of abstracts coupled with trade publications means that researchers will find the latest information, all in one place. 

Use Abstracts for Research

Sketch with arrows indicating areas for site design
Image from a PSU student-led Masters of Urban Planning project1

An abstract is a self-contained, short and powerful summary with keywords that describe the research. Urban studies abstracts discuss the scope, purpose, and results of the research. The structure of abstracts may vary by academic field, but they all have the same goal – to make research easier.

Abstracts save the researcher time in addition to providing information about the research. Readers read the summary in an abstract and can quickly decide whether or not to read more. Likewise, online databases use information in the abstract to make it easier to find similar research.

Finally, researchers use abstracts to find more research outside of the PSU Library. PSU students, staff and faculty can request items not held by the PSU Library through Summit or Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Summit and Interlibrary Loan allow researchers to request print books and online articles from other libraries, even across the world.

Urban Studies Resources at the PSU Library

Urban Studies Abstracts is one of many sources of urban studies research available through the PSU Library. Urban studies research is usually interdisciplinary, meaning you get more out of your research by exploring other guides and databases for more context. PSU Library’s urban studies resources all focus on a common goal — understanding metropolitan regions, issues, and policies.

The PSU Library has several tools for researchers to explore urban studies, including: 

Please note that some PSU Library resources, including Urban Studies Abstracts, are licensed for use by on-site patrons and current Portland State University students, faculty, and staff.

1“Preliminary Sketch by Jeff Thierfelder.” Andreades, Debra; Khan, Arif; Hughes, Emily; and Konkol, Tony, Boise Neighborhood Gateway Project (2003). Master of Urban and Regional Planning Workshop Projects., p. 35.

Winter Intersession Schedule

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Winter Intersession at the PSU Library

PSU Library in January, 1982. Photo from the University Archives Digital Gallery.
PSU Library in January, 1982. Photo from the University Archives Digital Gallery.

The PSU Library hours will change to a Winter Intersession schedule between terms. The library will be closed on weekends and open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m during the intersession. This schedule begins Saturday, December 10 and runs until Friday, December 23.

The Library will be closed from December 24 through January 2.

Intersession hours resume Tuesday, January 3 through Friday, January 6. We will be closed Saturday, January 7.

Regular Winter Term hours begin Sunday, January 8th at 12:00 p.m.

The Library website and databases are available 24/7 during Intersession, including the closure. Chat reference help is available most of the days the Library is closed, but it will be unavailable December 24–26 and December 31–January 2. We will be able to check in books returned to the book drop. We will not be able to process Summit and Interlibrary Loan requests will not be processed during the closure, but requests received during the closure will be processed when we re-open.

Winter Schedule Changes for the Library

  • December 8-9: Regular hours
  • December 10–23: Winter Intersession schedule (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday)
  • December 24–January 2: Library closed
  • January 3–7: Winter Intersession schedule (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed Saturday)
  • January 8: Regular hours resume

Resources for Intersession

There are many things to do around PSU campus and around the Portland metro area during break. Be sure to check to see if hours have changed for the holiday season before you head out.

Culture Passes at the Public Libraries

Multnomah County Library, Clackamas County Library, and Washington County Library (WCCLS) have passes available to explore places like museums and cultural centers around town. The passes provide free admission, and often cover admission for groups of people and families. The amount of admission covered varies depending on where you are visiting.

In order to check out a culture pass, you will need a public library card. Remember, you can have a public library card outside of your county of residence, and you can also have more than one library card. Check each public library system’s website for more information about reserving and using the culture passes.

More information:
Library Hours
Ask a Librarian

Thanksgiving Holiday & 24/7 Library

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PSU Library Closed for Thanksgiving

We will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Chat reference will not be available on November 24 or 25. The library will re-open on Saturday, November 26 at 10:00 a.m. Building hours remain normal for the rest of the weekend.

The Library’s Research Guides will help you find resources for your research while the Library is closed. Search for research and information by subject or search for resources for a specific course.

24/7 Library During Dead Week and Finals

The PSU Library’s 24/7 schedule will begin on Monday, November 28 at 7:30 a.m. and last through Thursday, December 8 at midnight. These hours run from the beginning of Dead Week through Finals.

The Library will be open to anyone until midnight. Only PSU students, faculty, and staff may be in the Library after midnight. Enter the Library after midnight by scanning your white PSU ID Card at the card reader by the ADA-accessible door. If you only have a PSU OneCard, please visit ID Card Services in Neuberger for your Student ID/Access Card.

At any time, Campus Public Safety will provide a safety escort to your vehicle or dorm. Ask the Officer in the Library or call Dispatch at (503) 725-4407 for a safety escort. College Housing Northwest (CHN) also offers extended hours for their Goose Hollow Shuttle during the 24/7 Library service.

Extra Library staff will assist you during the extended hours. Room 160 on the first floor will be opened up to provide an additional study room for students. Branford’s Bean coffee shop is also open longer, and they will continue their tradition of leaving coffee out for students after they close.

Follow the steps below to get into the Library after midnight

  1. Have your white PSU ID/Access Card to enter the Library late at night
  2. Place the PSU ID card near the black card reader at the ADA-accessible entrance.
  3. After scanning the PSU ID card, push the blue ADA-accessible door button.
  4. Wait few seconds. That door takes a long time to open!
  5. You made it in! Good luck on finals!

5 steps to enter library after midnight: have PSU student ID/access card, swipe card on reader by ADA button, push ADA button, wait, enter.




Upcoming Library Schedule Changes
November 24-25: Closed for Thanksgiving
November 26-27: Regular hours
November 28-December 8: Library open 24/7
December 9: Regular hours resume

More information:
Dead Week & Finals at PSU Library
Library Hours
Ask a Librarian
Portland State University Academic Calendar

Open Access Textbooks at Portland State

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PSU Alumni Association and Library Aim to Reduce Student Costs and Enhance Learning

Updated January 26, 2017: Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal for an open access textbook. The deadline for submissions now has passed.

With generous support from the Portland State University Alumni Association, the Portland State University Library is pleased to announce a new round of funding that will expand its open textbook initiative, PDXOpen. As a result, PSU faculty have financial support to create at least 5 new open textbooks. Ultimately, open textbooks reduce costs for students and enhance student learning.

PDXOpen textbooks have saved PSU students $85,094 as of Fall 2016. Since the program began in 2013, PSU faculty have published 10 open textbooks. Support from the PSU Alumni Association allows the Library to work with PSU faculty and provide a platform to make open textbooks accessible to students.

“This project allowed me to help in tailoring a book for the very specific needs of my PSU students of Arabic… without the hurdles of cost or lack of resources availability.”
– Lina Gomaa, Instructor of Arabic and PDXOpen author

Open textbooks already created through PDXOpen cover several Portland State disciplines, including University Studies, World Languages, Math, Education, Psychology, and Urban Studies. PSU faculty authors tailor these open textbooks to their students’ needs. In addition, the textbooks created through PDXOpen can be accessed beyond Portland State University, even after graduation. As a measure of success, PDXOpen textbooks have been downloaded over 10,000 times across the globe. The partnership between the PSU Alumni Association and the Library will continue to reduce costs and enhance learning for PSU students by expanding open textbooks for PSU students.

More information:
PSU Alumni Assoiation
PDXOpen Call for Proposals
Textbook cost study

Featured Resource – Routledge Handbooks Online

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About Routledge Handbooks Online

The Routledge Handbooks Onlineroutledge-handbooks-online-long is the Portland State University Library’s featured resource. Routledge Handbooks Online is a collection of many scholarly reference eBooks. The eBooks have information on research topics vital to PSU students and faculty. Topics include historic and current research, and future trends in the Social Sciences and Humanities. They are scholarly guides to theory, method, and primary topics. PSU faculty have authored several works in the collection. The PSU Library has access to works in the following collections in Routledge Handbooks Online:

  • Asian Studies
  • Communication & Media
  • Environmental & Sustainability
  • Literature
  • Middle East Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Using Routledge Handbooks Online at Portland State University

Anyone can access Routledge Handbooks Online while on campus. PSU students, faculty and staff can access the collection off campus 24/7. Researchers can choose whether they want to browse the eBooks like books on a shelf, or search by specific keyword or topic.

The PSU Library has more collections with resources about the above topics. Online subject guides through the PSU Library will point researchers to even more resources outside of the eBooks collection, like physical resources, scholarly articles, government documents, and print books. The Library’s PDXScholar collection will also point researchers to additional scholarly sources, many by PSU faculty and student authors.

More information:
Routledge Handbooks Online
Routledge Handbooks Online by PSU authors
Subject Guides

Featured Resource – Transport eBooks Collection by Emerald Publishing

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Transportation and Urban Development Resources at PSU Library

The way we transport people and everything else is vital to our daily lives – from the way we commute to school and work, to our travel plans for vacation, to the way our groceries arrive in stores and restaurants. Researchers constantly study transportation, traffic, and urban development for information about how it affects us and how we can improve existing systems. The Portland State University Library has several collections of scholarly resources to help researchers tackle these topics.

view of Portland State University at nightThe Transport eBooks Collection from Emerald Publishing, our featured resource, focuses on the nuts and bolts of transportation infrastructure. The Transport eBooks can be accessed by anyone on-campus, and can be accessed off-campus 24/7 by PSU students, faculty and staff. This collection covers a broad range of topics and disciplines: modes of transportation, safety, logistics, planning, the environment, and the overall impact on quality of life.

The PSU Library also has other collections with resources about transportation, infrastructure and urban development. The Library’s own PDXScholar collection has many PSU and Portland-area publications about local urban development and transportation. The Library’s transportation research guide will also point researchers to other collections of digital and physical resources, including scholarly articles, government documents, and print and electronic books.

More information:
Transportation eBooks by Emerald Publishing
Transportation Research Guide
Ask a Librarian

PSU Library Sponsors Faculty Member’s Attendance to OpenCon 2016

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PSU Library Supports Faculty Scholarship

Assistant Professor Erin Flynn
Assistant Professor Erin Flynn

Erin Flynn, Assistant Professor of Child and Family Studies, has been awarded a fully paid scholarship to attend OpenCon 2016 by the Portland State University Library and Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships. OpenCon 2016 is a conference “platform for the next generation to learn about Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, develop critical skills, and catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information—from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data.” Erin’s interest in open access relates directly to her research on child-led storytelling.

According to Flynn, child-led storytelling and its research:

“…elevates and amplifies the voices of children, a group whose voices are routinely excluded from the dialogue about how to build early educational settings that bolster learning and make social and emotional sense for those who participate. Open Access offers a powerful way to extend the reach of children’s voices, ensuring their perspectives are taken into account.”

Flynn’s engagement with open access will enable her research and children’s voices to reach the public, further empowering children’s voices in storytelling. The scholarship will make room for her research to have even broader impact in the community at large.

“I am excited for the opportunity to learn about innovations in sharing information. Removing barriers to information plays such a critical role in empowering diverse citizens to meaningfully shape democratic institutions like schools. Participating in Open Con will be a great way rethink educational advocacy by using lessons learned in other fields.”

About OpenCon 2016

Logo for OpenCon 2016. Slogan reads "empowering the next generation to advance open access, open education and open data."Remote attendance to OpenCon 2016 is free of cost and encouraged, especially for those who cannot attend in person. Attendees will participate in three days of keynotes, panels, and workshops, featuring Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, and Amy Rosenbaum, Director of Legislative Affairs to the President of the United States.

Erin has agreed to report back to Portland State regarding her experience at OpenCon. Look for a news item to be published in Winter for her report!

More Information:
OpenCon 2016
Portland State University Library
Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships

PSU Library to Award $10,000 with Open Access Article Processing Charge Fund

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PSU Library Supports Open Access Publishing

Portland State Sky Bridge (2013) by Parker Knight
Portland State Sky Bridge (2013) by Parker Knight

Open Access Article Processing Charge Fund (OA APC) is a $10,000 pilot fund set aside by the PSU Library to fund PSU research for publication in open access journals. Funds awarded to eligible applicants may be used to pay article processing charges at open access publications. These funds will be awarded first-come first-serve to eligible authors until funds are expended. The Library is excited to launch this pilot project in the hopes that it will contribute to a growing ethos of openness at Portland State and in the scholarly publishing economy.

Benefits for Students

Students will benefit because the OA fund will connect them to the research they need while they attend PSU and after they graduate. Online students and Portland State Alumni will particularly benefit, because OA articles are readily available online. As the Library increases its participation in open initiatives, students will increasingly recognize the value of openness. As they become researchers and full contributors to the scholarly communication system, their practices will incorporate OA publishing and other forms of open scholarship.

Benefits for Authors

Portland State authors will benefit because the OA fund will make their works more visible and remove access barriers to their articles. When more people can access their articles, there is potential for authors to make a greater impact.

Benefits for the Public

The public will benefit because funded articles will be free of cost for the public to read, and the research generated by Portland State researchers will continue to serve our community. This initiative achieves Portland State University’s mission to “let knowledge serve our city” and beyond by making PSU research more available –  to anyone.

More Information:
PSU Library OA APC Fund
Faculty Services at PSU Library

Free Textbooks at the Library with Open Educational Resources

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Open Educational Resources – What are They?

Cover of textbook Spatial Thinking in Planning Practice
PSU’s open textbooks span many disciplines

Textbooks are expensive! Textbooks today cost 800% more than 1978 studies show a direct link between textbook costs and student success. A 2016 student survey by Florida Virtual Campus found that 66.6% of students do not purchase textbooks due to high cost. Even worse, this survey shows that due to textbook costs:

  • 47.6% of students frequently take fewer courses
  • 45.5% of students don’t register for a course
  • 26.1% drop a course
  • 20.7% students withdraw from courses.

Professors and colleges are trying to make higher education affordable to students but still provide students with quality resources. Open educational resources (OERs) are one of the ways to make this possible. OERs are educational materials, often textbooks, that are published with Creative Commons licenses. They are often written by professors who want to provide more affordable textbook options to students and who provide different forms of scholarship beyond books and articles. These OER textbooks are freely available for anyone to read, modify, print, and share.

PSU Library’s OERs are Free Textbooks – for Everyone

Cover of textbook Leyendas y arquetipos del Romanticismo español
Open textbooks like this book of Spanish legends may be used by anyone across the globe

Portland State University Library works with PSU faculty authors to create open textbooks designed specifically for PSU classes in a project called PDXOpen. Open Textbooks have been created for several Portland State disciplines, University Studies, World Languages, Math, Education, Psychology, and Urban Studies.

Outside of the open textbooks created by Portland State faculty, many other excellent OERs are available. Browse Open Textbook Library or OpenStax to see some other open educational resources that can be used for studying or modified into teaching materials. With open educational resources, the possibilities are limitless.

More Information:
Open Textbook Library
OER Introduction Video
Florida Virtual Campus Student Textbook Survey (PDF)