What is a LibGuide??

September 30, 2009

The JWU North Miami Campus Library has been working hard to provide our students and faculty with Web-based and easy-to-access research guides. LibGuides is a content sharing system that acts as a gateway to specific research resources. These guides incorporate 2.0 tools such as streaming video, RSS feeds, and interactive polls…all geared towards your topic!

There are also LibGuides for specific courses with project and assignment resources just one click away!

Check it out:

Click this link: JWU North Miami LibGuides

-or- URL: http://jwuflorida.libguides.com/


Using the Content Specific Search form in LexisNexis

April 24, 2009

In my last post about LexisNexis, I talked about using the General Search forms and the Power Search forms.  You may also use the Content Specific Search forms which give you more control than the Easy search form and are simpler to use than the Power Search.  The Content Specific Search is designed to search a particular type of information such as News or Business.

Let’s go through an example.  When you enter the LexisNexis database, you will notice tabs at the top left of the screen.  Click on any of the tabs to utilize the Content Specific Search forms.  For instance, you need to search trade journals on the government regulation of the financial industry.  Select the News tab and enter the words in the search box just as you would on the other search forms.  You can either use the Natural Language setting, or Terms and Connectors setting.  If you are comfortable using Boolean search strategies such as “and”, “or”, and “not”, use the Terms and Connectors setting as you would when using the Power Search form.  In this case, our search phrase is “government regulation of the financial industry” and we are under the Natural Language setting.   Next we will add index terms, which are listed by category, by expanding the options under “Add index terms”.  You can select up to ten terms to add to your search.  Lets add to our search “Banking and Finance” under the Industry category; “Business Forecasts” and “Business Operations” under the Subject or Section category; and “United States” under the Region category.  Next, we will select a source for our search by choosing one from the Sources drop-down list.  In this search, we will choose “Business News Publications” from the drop-down list.   The last step is to choose a date range for our search.  A good range for our topic is the “previous 3 months”.  Finally, click on the search button located to the right of the search box to run our search.

This search yielded too many results, but we still have options to limit our results.  Since we need trade journals for our sources, we can select “Industry Trade Press” under the groups on the left hand side of the screen.  Now our results are all from industry trade journals and specifically address government regulation of the recent bailouts, executive compensation, legislation, etc.

I hope have you enjoyed this brief tutorial about using the Content Specific Search form in LexisNexis.  Please feel free to leave any comments or questions.

Getting to Know LexisNexis

February 27, 2009

Many times students will use Academic Search Premier as their primary database when starting research due to its multi-disciplinary scope.  Our campus also subscribes to LexisNexis, another multi-discipline database that provides access to full-text news, business, and legal publications.  Apprehension of use by students may stem from the unfamiliar format that the database defaults to when accessed.  By learning how to navigate through the interface using a few tricks, students will have yet another powerful database to access for their research.

LexisNexis defaults to a “general search” form, which is geared toward a simple query and searches across the most popular content.  You may want to start your research here if you are not sure which sources to use. The “general search” automatically incorporates terms and connectors (Boolean operators such as “and” and “or”)   based on what was entered.  Simply type in a few words or short phrases that describes your topic, then click the search button. Using this feature will often yield hundreds of results.

The “power search” has many advantages, and I urge students to view the tutorials available on the left hand side of the screen to learn more. One main advantage of the “power search” is that you can choose between terms and connectors or natural language. Select terms and connectors to retrieve more specific information such as a relationship between the search words entered, comprehensive coverage of an issue, or specific information in a document. It is best to select natural language when the topic is more conceptual than specific or when a search is complex and you are uncertain which terms to use.

LexisNexis offers a variety of search options. At the top of the search page there are several category tabs, each designed to search a particular type of content.  There is a news tab which can be used to search within a specific source, the New York Times for example.  The legal tab allows you to search search within law review journals, federal and state cases or codes, tax law, and international legislation. Under the business tab you can  search for information such as corporate news, financial and business information for specific companies. Finally, use the people tab to search for biographical information about individuals using the biographical search form.

I’ve have just briefly touched on a few of the basic features of LexisNexis. I suggest that you experiment with some of the options I have discussed above to get familiar with LexisNexis, then take the tutorials. Over the next several weeks I will highlight specific features within LexisNexis. If there is a specific feature you would like me to discuss, please add a comment or question. LexisNexis is just another powerful tool the library offers that can empower you to effectively access the information you need to succeed in the academic and professional world.

Cybercrime Research: Keywords and Subject Headings in Academic Search Premier

February 24, 2009

Sometimes a term for a topic may have variations in how it is spelled out.  For example, “Cybercrime” shows up in various forms:

cyber crime

In this brief tutorial, you’ll see how to see an easy way to use the word “or” to search these variations in one search, and you’ll see how to use subject terms in Academic Search Premier:

To access Academic Search Premier, go to our library site:


…and click on the “Databases” link.
…then click on “Academic Search Premier”

Starting out with keywords:

It may be useful to search all of the keyword variations to find what you need.  For a quick search, you could search cybercrime (and each variation) as a keyword in the title.  An easy way to do this in one step is to insert the word OR between your terms to enter them in the same search (and for phrases, it’s often beneficial to use quotation marks to keep your terms as phrases).

Here’s an example of how to use Academic Search Premier to find articles that contain cybercrime, cyber-crime or cyber crime in the title (of the article).  To search for articles with these keywords in the title, select “TI Title” in the dropdown box to the right.  See the example below; the terms and drop-down item have been underlined in red:


Revising your search with relevant subject terms:

After looking at your results, it may be useful to redo the search by using Subject Terms that are relevant to the topic.  Here are a few of them listed in Academic Search Premier:

COMPUTER crimes — Investigation
COMPUTER hackers
CREDIT card fraud
INFORMATION technology

To search for articles by subject, choose “SU Subject Terms” in the dropdown box on the right:


Here are some additional subjects that you might consider.  You can search them individually (if they’re closely related to your main topic), or use them to narrow your search by adding them to the row below:

ACCESS control
COMPUTER security
COMPUTER viruses
CONFIDENTIAL business information
DATA protection
DATA security
SWINDLERS & swindling
UNITED States. Dept. of Justice
UNITED States. Secret Service


Military & Government Collection:

Another database you may want to use for this topic is Military & Government Collection.  It comes from Ebsco, the same company that gives us Academic Search Premier, and you can use the same subjects listed above to find more articles on your topic.

Please note:
Subject terms used in one database often may not be the same in another, especially if the databases are from different vendors.  The best strategy in searching is to use keywords that relate to your topic, and then revise your search using relevant subject terms. 

Also, if you are ever in a database and don’t see “subject” as a searchable field, don’t stress out…some databases use the term “descriptors” or “topics” instead of “subject” as a searchable option.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask…

-by using the instant message feature (meebo) in the upper-right pane of this blog.

-by phone:  305-892-7043

-or stop by, we’re happy to help.