Tag Archives: Featured Resource

Research Art and Art History with Artstor

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Our latest featured resource at the Portland State Library is Artstor. This database has an immense collection of images, as well as tools to make it easy to use and download images. Furthermore, it has tools to help in teaching. Maximize your art and art history research when you use Artstor alongside PSU Library guides.

Use Artstor for Research and Teaching

The Jolly Flatboatmen by George Caleb Bingham, 1846. From the National Gallery of Art.
The Jolly Flatboatmen by George Caleb Bingham, 1846. From the National Gallery of Art.

Researchers may browse through Artstor, or search for something specific. Categories like geography show artwork from a specific country, and classification reveals specific types of art. The art spans traditional art like painting and illuminated manuscripts, and also to architecture, film, landscape, and many more types of art.

Researchers may also browse by specific repositories. This can be useful because for researchers art repositories often group similar types and styles of art, and often have a lot of background information to help with research.

Additionally, Artstor has tools to help researchers manage images. Group images together to organize them, and also download them in bulk. Furthermore, bulk downloads include citations and other information about images, making it easier for researchers.

Artstor also has teaching resources to help users design curriculum for all age groups and levels, from K-12 to experts. These resources span across the many different types of art and art history resources in the collections. Most importantly, scholars can share the images in research and instruction because all content is cleared for educational use.

PSU Resources

Folio from an illustrated manuscript ca. 1597-1598. Image from The Met Museum.
Folio from an illustrated manuscript ca. 1597-1598. Image from The Met Museum.

PSU Library’s Open Educational Resources Guide connects researchers to open texts, streaming images and media, Portland State materials, and other open access resources that are useful to researchers. Additionally, anyone across the globe can use these resources, including students who have graduated from PSU. This is because Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

PSU Library’s subject guides connect researchers to resources for subjects taught as Portland State. Our architecture, art and art history guides have links to find scholarly articles, books, reference books, primary sources, as well as citation help.

PSU Library’s art databases connect researchers to many other kinds of resources on arts and the humanities. These span across history to the present, as well as across many different regions and types of resources.

PSU Library’s A-Z list of databases shows which resources are restricted or open access. Some PSU resources, including Artstor, are restricted off-campus to current PSU students, faculty and staff. A locked padlock (locked padlock symbol) indicates resources that are restricted off-campus. Conversely, open access resources are available to all researchers across the globe. An unlocked padlock (open access logo) indicates open access resources.

Other Resources 

Place Vintimille by Edouard Vuillard, 1911. From the National Gallery of Art.
Place Vintimille by Edouard Vuillard, 1911. From the National Gallery of Art.

Many US museums help researchers find images online through digital libraries, letting researchers worldwide experience the arts. Metadata in these collections informs researchers about the item, its context, and usage rights. This makes easier to determine if the items are open access or free of copyright restrictions.

Research Current Events

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Opposing Viewpoints in Context Shows the Big Picture

Pictured: Issues related to "Drones" in Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Content includes viewpoints, academic journals and statistics.
Pictured: Information about “Drones” in Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Content includes viewpoints, academic journals and statistics.

Current events are rarely simple or clear cut. Fortunately, Opposing Viewpoints in Context connects researchers with the context of the different perspectives behind current issues, along with reliable facts and evidence.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context is a database that contains detailed, reliable information about current events. This information comes from a variety of sources: newspapers, magazines, reference works, and scholarly journals. Additionally, several different perspectives for each current issue give more context. Researchers can use all of this information to understand the full context behind today’s headlines.

Newspaper articles and essays about current events, called viewpoints, provide up-to-date information about current events. However, bias in news articles and viewpoints means researchers need more information to get the big picture.

Fortunately, Opposing Viewpoints in Context presents the big picture by connecting researchers to reliable and authoritative supporting documents, along with additional points of view, historical information, and context. Statistics and peer-reviewed research articles provide evidence for each topic. Additional reference information, images, and videos can provide a historical background. Researchers can confidently research current events with evidence and scholarly research, without worrying about sensationalized claims or “fake news.”

More Resources at PSU

In addition to Opposing Viewpoints in Context, PSU Library has other resources available to help researchers understand current events.

CQ Researcher has in-depth coverage of current social and public policy issues. Professional journalists write and fact-check these reports. These articles include an overview, history, chronology, pro/con feature, plus additional resources for further research. CQ Researcher is an excellent database to use in addition to Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

The Identify & Challenge Fake News guide was made by PSU Librarians to help researchers identify, verify, and understand the news. It provides background information about what “fake news” is, as well as current examples of fake news. There is also information about fact-checking and finding accurate information. Researchers can also learn about how media consumption like search algorithms, as well as political news, affects personal biases. Finally, resources for instructors are available to facilitate discussion and help students evaluate information.

Please note that off-campus access to Opposing Viewpoints in Context and CQ Researcher is restricted to current PSU students, faculty, and staff.

Research the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

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U.S. Naval Brig "Perry" (left) approaching American slave vessel "Martha" (right). The image is reproduced courtesy of the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University.
U.S. Naval Brig “Perry” Approaching Slaver “Martha,” from “Africa and the American Flag”  by Andrew H. Foote (1854).

Research the trans-Atlantic slave trade with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, the latest featured resource at the PSU Library. 

This open access database is available for researchers across the globe, and also provides tools to examine the realities of one of the largest forced movements of peoples in world history. It contains multiple searchable resources, with detailed information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages between Africa and North America, the Caribbean, and Brazil.

Timelines, chronologies and maps provide context into the transatlantic slave trade. Researchers can visualize the impact of the global slave trade over a long period of time, and also hone into detailed information about a specific place or time.

Furthermore, a separate database sheds light on the voyages undertaken for the slave trade. Examine the captains and crews who sailed on slave ships, as well as the nations, and numbers of people transported across the globe.

Finally, the African Names Database has information about 91,491 Africans taken from captured slave ships or from African trading sites. It lists the African name, age, gender, origin, country, and also the places of embarkation and disembarkation. This information gives researchers insight into many of the victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Other Resources at the PSU Library

The PSU Library has many resources that discuss the transatlantic slave trade. Research the history and context of the slave trade in the United States and globally with data and primary resources.

Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law is an open access database. It contains legal documentation on the historic practices of slavery in the United States, as well as the rest of the English-speaking world. It includes pamphlets, books, legal statutes, and articles on slavery.

Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice is a database open to PSU faculty, staff, students, and researchers in the PSU Library. Primary source documents about slavery and abolition from Africa, the Caribbean, the U.S., Latin America, as well as Europe, span from 1490 to 2007.

More information:
PSU Library Black Studies databases
PSU Library History databases
Open Access at PSU

Project MUSE eBooks at PSU Library

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About Project MUSE

Project MUSE is a database with both scholarly eJournals & eBooks from University presses and scholarly societies in a wide range of subjects within the humanities and social sciences. All content is peer-reviewed prior to publication and edited after the peer-review by the university presses. The PSU Library has access to over 1,000 eBook titles from Project MUSE, and this collection is still growing. The PSU Library Project MUSE eBooks collections include the following subject areas:

  • US Regional Studies, West
  • Political Science and Policy Studies
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies

Access Project MUSE eBooks

You can search for Project MUSE eBooks in the PSU Library catalog, or you can search for books directly from Project MUSE. Project MUSE will search everything by default, including items that PSU Library does not own. Fortunately, it is simple to refine your search to find only eBooks. First, sign in to Project MUSE on a campus computer, or off-campus with your Odin account. Next, click the “Browse” button at the top of the page.

Project Muse home page, with browse button highlighted

A menu will appear after you click the “Browse” button. On this menu, click the link for “Books.”

Project Muse ebooks home page, within browse menu, with Books link highlighted

You should now see every single eBook within Project MUSE. Now we need to access the eBooks purchased by the PSU Library. First, go to “Access” on the left-hand side of the page. Then select “Only content I have full access to.”

Project Muse ebooks option to select "only content I have full access to" is turned on

After these three steps, you now can search the Project MUSE eBooks owned by the PSU Library. These ebooks can be downloaded to a computer or tablet for an unlimited time, and PSU faculty and students can print out as much as they need.

Other eBooks at the PSU Library

The  PSU Library access to over a million eBooks from several publishers and vendors in addition to Project MUSE. Search for eBooks at the PSU Library. Simply search for a keyword, and then refine your search results to eBooks. You may find entire chapters, or entire eBooks, online at the PSU Library.

If another library has an eBook you want to view, you may be able to access it using a public computer at that library, or borrow the print edition. If you have any questions about accessing an eBook at the PSU Library, please Ask a Librarian. Please note that many eBook collections are licensed for use by on-site patrons and current Portland State University students, faculty, and staff.

More Information:
Internet Archive provides a free digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Closed captions are not available.
Directory of Open Access Books includes academic ebooks that are part of Open Access.

Open Access Research with OpenDOAR

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What is Open Access Research

Open access logo of unlocked padlock with text
Open Access logo CC BY-SA 3.0 via Public Library of Science (PLoS).

Open access is the movement to make scholarly endeavors available to the public without financial and licensing barriers. Because the publication model is still growing, more and more institutions have joined in making research open and available. Many universities, agencies throughout the world, and even some major research funders and foundations have valuable data available. After the data is published, it is stored in online repositories that can be accessed by researchers.

Opening the Door to Open Research

OpenDOAR, or the Directory of Open Access Repositories, lists open access repositories from around the world in a single, central location. Researchers search across across many repositories by location and type of repository, author, and by materials and can then access all of the research inside.

Open Access at PSU

PDXScholar, PSU Library’s online repository, contains many open access textbooks, theses, dissertations, and faculty and student research. Portland State students, faculty, alumni, and researchers have downloaded nearly 1.8 million items from PDXScholar since July 2013.  The Open Social Work research guide, designed by a PSU Librarian, connects alumni and practicing social workers in Oregon with social work research. Finally, Our A-Z research database list also indicates whether a database is open access. Resources with the open access logo, an unlocked padlock (Open access logo showing unlocked padlock) will then know that the information they are using is fully open.

Learn more about open access initiatives, like our open textbooks that are free to students, when you visit the PSU Library’s website. Our open access and public access page will connect you to open access resources, as well as information about current projects.

More information:
Open Access & Public Access
About PDXScholar
A-Z list of databases at PSU Library

Social Work Research at PSU Library

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Social workers assist millions of people every day. Clients can be anyone, from veterans to children, families and entire communities. Social workers often work with people who are going through devastating illnesses or mental health crises. Furthermore, social workers handle complex issues that can range from public policy to social justice and community services. As a result, social workers need research tools that tackle the evolving needs of many clients in many different situations.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work

Black and white Image of man interviewing woman and child
Social Work interview (Helen Gordon Center), 5/5/76

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work, PSU Library’s featured resource, is a powerful tool for researchers. Use it to search for valuable background information on topics related to social work. In addition, references at the end of entries will lead you to key researchers and foundational works on those topics.

Like the field of social work, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work gets updated as policies and trends change. Consequently, the Encyclopedia’s newest edition covers updates like demographic changes from immigration, technology, managed care, faith-based care, evidence-based practice, gerontology, trauma, and disaster care. In addition to subjects relating to social work, the encyclopedia also has biographies of people who shaped the field.

Social work research at the PSU library

Librarians at the PSU Library have created helpful guides for researchers studying social work and related topics. Learn more about the Oxford Encyclopedia of Social Work and other PSU Library resources. In addition, learn more about related topics like community health and public policy.

More information:
Ask a Librarian

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Research

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About the Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies

Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies is a featured resource at the PSU Library. Gender and sexuality studies is an interdisciplinary social science, which means that it spans more than one field of study. Researchers examine gender and sexuality along with race and culture as part of a larger context. Subjects range from sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and politics, to contemporary history and psychology. Furthermore, researchers can explore these topics zoomed in at a local level, or at a larger cultural or regional view.

Using Encyclopedias for Research

Illustrated graphic from the PSU 1976 Women’s Studies certificate program course catalog, drawn by student P. Sexton

Encyclopedias are organized by subject. Subjects can range from specific events or people to broad concepts. As a result, researchers can home in on a topic or zoom out to examine broader context. Furthermore, helpful information is listed at the end of each entry. Related subjects let researchers find more information and build upon their research.  Finally, references and reading lists at the end of each entry help to point researchers to additional information.

PSU Library’s online encyclopedias accessible and easy to use,  and they are also scholarly. They are edited by verified experts and scholars in each discipline. In addition, the information, references and related topics are up-to-date. Researchers can use PSU Library’s scholarly resources to search for a topic, find current reliable information, and use that to find other related information online through the PSU Library.

Gender and Sexuality Studies Resources at the PSU Library

Along with Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies, PSU has many other resources such as databases of scholarly journals and articles, dissertations and theses, multimedia, and books.

  • Our research guide on Women, Gender and Sexuality studies will direct researchers to appropriate resources and how to develop your topic, use Library resources, cite sources, and find other helpful information about researching this topic
  • PDXScholar is the Portland State Library’s institutional repository, meaning it contains dissertations, theses, and research articles by PSU students, staff and faculty. All content on PDXScholar is open access.

More information:
Ask a Librarian

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. http://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/usp_murp/143, p. 35.

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