Category Archives: Collections and Resources

Information about USMA Library collections and resources.

RS 100 Class Completes Poker Run in the Library

Information services librarian Celeste Evans and Information resources technician Latisha Taylor explain to cadets the help they can obtain at the information desk.

Celeste Evans, information services librarian, and Latisha Taylor, information resources technician, explain to cadets the assistance they can obtain at the information desk.

On 23 and 24 August, cadets enrolled in the Center for Enhanced Performance’s RS 100 course spent some very active time in the Jefferson Hall, finding their way from one service point to another and learning about Library resources, services, and staff along the way. The Library Poker Runs are designed to get cadets familiar with the people here at the Library who can help them in their studies, and with the resources they can use to complete the assignments they’ll have throughout their time at West Point.

Information services technician Sharon Gillespie speaks with cadets about how they can be helped at the welcome/circulation desk.

Sharon Gillespie, information services technician, speaks with cadets about how they can be helped at the welcome/circulation desk.

Cadets are given a checklist of locations (the Welcome/Circulation Desk, Info Desk/Reference Librarian/Print Stations, and the home of ourUnique Resources collection and staff – newly relocated to the West Point Room in Bartlett Hall North) and are directed to complete a task at each checkpoint.

PokerRunScout1

Karen Shea, plebe experience librarian, shows cadets how to utilize Scout!

The tasks help the plebes learn a multitude of research-related skills, such as how to search within our collections using Scout! – the Library’s discovery tool; how to renew books online; what to do when the Library doesn’t have an article or book they need (hint: Inter-Library Loan!); and the difference between primary and secondary sources. A highlight of the Poker Run is a visit to the Unique Collections and USMA Archives in the West Point Room, where this semester they saw Custer’s demerits (all six pages of them!), the West Point Post Order book that included an account of Edgar Allan Poe’s court-martial, and Civil War-era maps by Jeremy Gilmer (USMA 1939).

Rare book curator, Elaine McConnell, share with cadets one of Jeremy Gilmer's Civil War era maps.

Elaine McConnell, rare book curator, shares with cadets one of Jeremy Gilmer’s Civil War era maps.

PokerRunPrinter

Rik Miller, systems technician, explains using the print stations located in the Library.

After completing each task, the cadets draw a card, and the cadet team with the best poker hand at the end of class wins a prize from their instructor. Over 100 cadets participated in these Poker Runs, and judging from discussions with them at the end of class, everyone learned something new that they felt would help them throughout their academic career at West Point.

Narrative by Laura Mosher, Cadet Engagement Librarian; photos by Barbara Maroney, Facilities Support Technician.

Discover a Database – OECD iLibrary

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The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.  It works with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change. It measures productivity and global flows of trade and investment and analyzes and compares data to predict future trends. See more about OECD. See member countries.

OECD iLibrary, their global knowledge base, is the online library of the OECD featuring its books, papers (including journals) and statistics and is the gateway to OECD’s analysis and data, replacing SourceOECD.*

Features:

  • Read: using your computer, tablet or smartphone
  • Browse: by theme, country or both, and statistics
  • Search:

■ Simple search or advanced search through the search box, then refine results by content type or theme/country
■ Theme, then select Books, Papers or Statistics

  • Navigate: by Book, Papers, Statistics, Factbook, Glossaries (grouped together to filter by many parameters)
  • Access DATA: through interactive statistical databases
  • Cite: consistent referencing of any full-text item on the site.
  • Formats: PDF, WEB, XLS, ActiveChart, DATA, ePUB, READ

Sample search: follow the Theme search on Agriculture and Food, selecting OECD Agriculture Statistics.

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OECD Agriculture and Food

OECD Agriculture Statistics

This example shows the various formats in which your output is available.

OECD Agriculture Statistics data set

DATA sets are fully interactive and customizable. Note also, that a simple click on “cite this database” will provide a citation for insertion into your paper’s bibliography.

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An Indicators data set can be presented in a chart, map or table.

Watch this navigating OECD iLibary video for additional assistance on other searching options.

 Who should use this collection?

It is a useful resource for students of development, growth, and comparative and international economics. Also, those studying geography and environmental engineering, energy, water and natural resources, as well as statisticians/researchers in research and development, healthcare and world trade would benefit.

Summary

OECD iLibrary is an excellent resource for primary research information and data, particularly relevant for economics, political science, international relations, and other social science papers and assignments. Using the OECD iLibrary is much more efficient than scouring the open Internet for similar information.

Coverage from the 1990s into the 2010s

  • Numerous entry points to information
  • Information is available in your choice of formats
  • Data sets are interactive with customizable output
  • Ease of citation

* OECD iLibrary also contains content published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) [our subscription to IEA data offers full access to all publications of the IEA including the statistical annuals providing you with the same data as in the data sets, but in PDF format], the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the OECD Development Centre, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and the International Transport Forum (ITF).

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Manja Yirka, Continuing Resources Librarian and Liaison Librarian to the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences.

Discover a Database – IEEE Xplore

Image 1 IEEE Logo

USMA Library offers its engineering students IEEE Xplore, a most important engineering resource.

 

Content Coverage

Besides being a product of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the leading authority on electrical engineering and computer science, the IEEE Xplore digital library provides online access to almost four million full-text technical publications dating back to 1893, including standards and professional development courses. IEEE Xplore is not, however, limited to electrical engineering as its topic coverage has grown to include materials from overlapping research areas, for example, biotechnology, information assurance, and transportation. In addition to offering IEEE publications, IEEE Xplore hosts publications from several other technical information publishers, for example, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IBM. Publications from three new technical publishers were also recently added: Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), Beijing Institute of Aerospace Information (BIAI), and Tsinghua University Press (TUP). Table 1 lists IEEE Xplore content coverage in more detail.Table 1

Table. 1 Xplore Content Coverage

Basic Functionality

IEEE Xplore can be searched using keywords, phrases, article titles, authors, index terms, and other criteria. After an initial search, users have the option to view, download, print, refine and search within results lists, view tables of contents, evaluate bibliographic records, and interact with multimedia files, including embedded formulas.

To begin a Basic Search, navigate to IEEE Xplore. The default setting is on Basic Search. The global search box is where users input keyword(s) to be searched within document metadata (not full-text). As an example, the term “Security” has been entered. After the term is entered, click the Search button to the right of the global search box and documents with the metadata term “Security” will be retrieved.

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Figure 1. Global Search

The resulting list contains 146,702 documents listed down the lower center of the screen in intervals of 25 (see Figure 2). Users can further investigate a result by clicking on its title. Users can also investigate any one of the other several bibliographic elements included in the citation by clicking on the respective hyperlinked element. A result’s full-text can, in most cases, be viewed directly on the browser in HTML. Alternatively, users can also download the full-text in PDF format.

Image 3 Figure 2

Figure 2. Results list

Users should keep several things in mind when performing a Basic Search. The default Basic Search is set to only search keywords in metadata, not the full-text of documents. This is fine if you prefer to have more refined initial results. However, if you are not getting enough results you may want to expand the search to allow for IEEE Xplore to search for keywords throughout the full-text. This can be accomplished by first clicking the Advanced Search option (see Figure 3).Image 4 Figure 3

Figure 3. Click Advanced Search option

On the next screen (see Figure 4), switch the Search radio button selection from Metadata Only to Full-Text & Metadata.

Image 5 Figure 4Figure 4. Select Full-Text & Metadata Search option radio button

There are several less known, but very useful literature analytic capabilities offered by IEEE Xplore. To name a few, IEEE Xplore allows users to count citations from patents to research papers. This is a handy tool to trace the intellectual lineage of a technical invention and measure research impact. Similarly, IEEE Xplore can produce a visual display showing citations to and from a given article, allowing users to better grasp the articles sematic context. Users can also quickly identify cutting-edge research articles that are generating social media buzz through the use of altmetric functionality provided by IEEE Xplore.

Who might be interested in using IEEE Xplore?

Uncovering the USMA departments and research centers that contribute publications to the IEEE Xplore collection provides insight into the most common users. Using IEEE Xplore, I executed an Author Affiliation search looking for articles published by USMA affiliated authors. There were a total of 311 publications affiliated with USMA ranging from 1945-2016 (see Figure 5). Out of those publications, 260 were conference proceedings and 51 were journal and magazine articles.

Image 6 Figure 5Figure 5. List of USMA results

The following USMA departments and research centers were represented among the results:

  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering
  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Systems Engineering
  • Operations Research Center
  • Photonics Research Center

Cadets and faculty from the aforementioned departments will find IEEE Xplore an essential information resource.

IEEE Xplore provides several short tutorials that new users may find helpful. The following hyperlinked list presents a few:

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Nicholas V. Olijnyk, Digital Initiatives Librarian

Discover a Database: Gallup Analytics

G for Gallup

 

 

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The USMA Library recently added a new database to its arsenal of electronic resources, Gallup Analytics. Featuring Gallup polling data from the United States and around the world, our new database incorporates the Gallup Brain (previously offered by the library) as one major component, however it is a much expanded resource. Gallup Analytics provides essential public opinion data that is invaluable to research in a wide range of departments including Social Sciences, Behavioral Sciences & Leadership, Geography & Environmental Engineering, History, and Military Instruction – anywhere, in fact, that requires knowledge about how a given topic is viewed by the public.

Features:

Gallup Analytics users can:

  • Perform detailed searches on hundreds of U.S. and global metrics
  • Cut data by numerous demographic and socio-economic groups
  • Create and export custom data tables, trends, charts and scatter plots
  • Export data to spreadsheets

Students and faculty have access to:

  • U.S. Data
    • Economic, well-being and political data collected daily since 2008
    • By State and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
    • MSA and state-specific dashboards
    • Historical Gallup trends dating back to the 1930s
  • World Poll Data
    • Economic, social and well-being data collected since 2005 in over 160 countries
    • More than 80 metrics that are part of the Gallup Macroeconomic Path – a behavioral-based leadership model for successful societies
    • Country-specific dashboards

Searching:

  • Searches may be by Topic, Geography or Keyword. A Topic search is often a good starting point:Gallup keyword search
  • Note that your data source is either the World Poll or U.S. Daily.
  • I first searched for “Confidence in National Government” in Southeast Asian countries from 2014-15, ranking the results from most to least confident in the following table (exportable to an Excel spreadsheet):Gallup table
  • Next, I compared “Confidence in National Government” among selected Southeast Asian countries for the time range 2012-15, creating the chart below:Gallup chart
  • Finally, I mapped the same metric for Asian-Pacific nations in 2014, which returned the map below:Gallup map
  • The map view of the rankings is in varying shades of green. The Communist government in China, which allows restrictively limited Gallup polling, did not authorize this particular question, hence it is grayed out, as are North Korea and Papua New Guinea, given that Gallup doesn’t operate in those countries.
  • For incisive U.S. polling data and topical articles of interest, try searching the Gallup Brain. In addition to historical polling results from 1935 to the present day, current articles cover a wide spectrum of topics ranging from the public’s perception of foreign trade, affordability of housing, health and healthcare, crime, governance, perceptions of Presidential candidates, how Americans view Israel and France (favorably overall), and how we are viewed by the rest of the world (positively overall).Gallup Analytics cookie statement

HINT: If this box appears at the bottom of your screen, click close to see the link to Gallup Brain.Gallup Brain

Summary:

For novices, navigation can be a bit tricky when setting up metrics for the desired search results. For example, you will need to tweak your metrics when shifting from tables to charts and maps. That said, it becomes less a problem the more one uses the database. As always, ask a Librarian for assistance if you have any questions when using our research products.

Overall, this is a superlative resource to use for both domestic and public opinion data and is a very helpful addition to the library’s offerings.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Michael G. Arden, Audio-Visual Librarian and Liaison Librarian to the Department of Social Sciences, and Manja Yirka, Continuing Resources Librarian and Liaison Librarian to the Department of Chemistry and Life Sciences.

Discover a Database – Cambridge Histories Online

CHOheaderThe USMA Library recently added a new resource to its offerings called Cambridge Histories Online. While this may sound like it’s just for those taking history classes, it is actually interdisciplinary; covering the history of a wide range of topics from foreign relations to music, literary studies to philosophy. This resource also includes several volumes on the history of warfare.

Features

  • Over 300 volumes published since 1960
  • Covers 15 different academic subjects
  • Each chapter is a separate, searchable PDF
  • Search or browse the titles
  • Complete index and bibliography for every volume

Who should use this resource?

Cadets in any humanities class will find this to be an invaluable resource. Cadets in science classes may also find utility in the 6 volume Cambridge History of Science.

Here’s a sampling from the series on Warfare, which Military History instructors and students will certainly find of value.

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Tips for searching Cambridge Histories Online

  • Use the search box at the top of the page for a quick list of results based on keyword
  • Use advanced search to combine keywords or authors, or choose specific subject areas

As always, ask a Librarian for help if you have any questions about any of our research products!

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by G.J. Corey Harmon, Circulation & Reference Librarian

Books at JSTOR

479149414_640We’ve recently increased our book collection by adding over 20,000 electronic book titles to the USMA Library collection. How, you may ask? Through our excellent new resource, Books at JSTOR.

Many of you are already familiar with JSTOR Journals, and Books at JSTOR works just like its other database. Books at JSTOR offers eBooks that are easily accessible through our SCOUT search on the library website.

This collection of academic books is drawn largely (but not exclusively) from university presses and covers 14 subject areas, including Science & Technology, Political Science, Sustainability, Sociology and History, among others. Do a keyword or title search in SCOUT, then retrieve the book by clicking on the URL at the bottom of the result you select.

JSTOR SCOUT search

Benefits of Books at JSTOR

  • High-quality scholarly content: Important titles from leading academic publishers, including Princeton University Press, Yale University Press, Harvard University Press, and many more
  • Easy to use: For example, journal articles, book chapters can be read online or downloaded as PDF files that never expire

Other nice features:

  • No logging in and no special software required
  • Unlimited downloads; unlimited copy and paste
  • Access is 24 x 7
  • New titles added monthly

Users will be able to:

  • View eBook chapters online
  • View books even if another user is “using” the book, as JSTOR offers unlimited simultaneous access– AND they never expire
  • Download and print (please remember the environment) a PDF of a chapter
  • Cross-search eBooks and journals for related content JSTOR cross-searchiing

 

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Contents contributed by Manja Yirka,  Continuing Resources Librarian

 

The Library Reads – “I Shall Be Near to You” by Erin Lindsay McCabe

Based oweb-i-shall-be-near-to-youn the experiences of over 200 women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the American Civil War, I Shall Be Near To You is a superb piece of historical fiction. It tells the story of newlyweds Jeremiah and Rosetta Wakefield. Rosetta decides to cast off her role as a lonely young wife patiently waiting back on the farm to assume a new identity as Private Ross Stone. She does this to accompany her husband after he enlists – against her wishes – in the Union Army with the other boys from their little farming community in upstate New York. Jeremiah’s dream is to use their Army pay to buy a farm in Nebraska after a few months when the war would hopefully come to an end. History intervenes.

Under constant pressure to protect her true identity and over Jeremiah’s objections, Rosetta marches into battle by the side of her husband at both Second Bull Run and the Battle of Antietam, which remains the bloodiest day in American history. The couple is not so much star-crossed as saber-crossed, so to speak, and the story plays itself out in a totally compelling manner. This is fine writing by author, Erin Lindsay McCabe, and has rekindled my longstanding interest in carefully researched and wonderfully rendered historical fiction.

I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe, Crown (2014)

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Content contributed by Michael G. Arden, Audiovisual Librarian

The Barracks Fire of 1871

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The destroyed roof and upper floor of the barracks can be seen in this photo taken on 6 February 1871, a day after the fire, by Ordinance Officer John Pitman, then an Assistant Instructor at the Academy. The fire began in the large room directly over the sally port. The heavily damaged 4th Division is just to the right of the sally port. The West Point Hotel can be seen in the background across the Plain. (photo courtesy of USMA Library Special Collections and Archives)

At around 2 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, February 5, 1871, cadets were awoken by a long roll of the drums, meaning everyone was to form up in the Area immediately. The barracks were on fire! The flames had started in the Dialectic Hall, a multi-story room directly over the sally port that allowed passage from the Area to the Plain, and soon reached the roof and fourth-floor rooms. Quickly the blaze spread east and west along the roof and smoke filled the top-floor rooms occupied mostly by plebes.

Cadets swiftly sprang into action with hand- and steam-powered fire engines, but the extreme cold and a stiff wind caused the valves to freeze. Bucket brigades were formed and cadets carried snow and water to the 3rd floor and higher stairways and threw water up to fight the flames and to protect the lower floors. The walls and windows of the building were soon covered in thick slabs of ice. As the water fell back down from the buckets, cadets became so encrusted with ice that one was able to stand up his overcoat the next morning in the mess hall and place his cap on top.

During the fire, some plebes were trapped in their rooms and were rescued either by ladder or by cadets linking arms and going room-to-room in the dense smoke. Amazingly, no lives were lost, but there were reports of frozen noses and ears and some cadets lost nearly all their possessions. The unfortunate were later compensated by Congress for destroyed items.

The fire engines were eventually thawed out and helped to bring the conflagration under control about three hours after it began. Cadets were aided by volunteers from elsewhere on post. For much of the next day the roof smoldered as cadets from the cockloft found other rooms to live in temporarily. Luckily, the rooms on the third floor and below were habitable and life returned to normal quickly. Although accounts vary, it looks like classes resumed on the second day after the fire. The 4th Division, directly adjacent to the Dialectic Hall, was the most impacted area. In total, the fire damage was assessed at $50,000. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

Contents contributed by Dr. Jon Malinowski, Professor of Geography, and Alicia Mauldin Ware, Archives Curator.

West Point Feature Films LibGuide

LGLThe Library now has a GUIDE to feature films about West Point, many available on DVD here in the Library.  Prior to the 1950s, the film industry’s “take” on life here was by turns noble, sappy, sweet, insipid, flag-waving, and awesomely inspired. Some films were more successful than others in capturing that special West Point spirit. The 1950s was the golden decade of West Point as captured on film, including three popular movies from the first part of the decade, plus a definitive television series from the second half, featuring a number of unknown actors who would soon emerge as major motion picture and television stars. Perhaps the most essential West Point film of all is The Long Gray Line, directed by Hollywood classic director, John Ford, treating the life of Academy legend, Marty Maher.

Why not check one of these out for the holidays?

Contents contributed by Michael Arden, Audiovisual Librarian

The Library Reads – Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage by Jeffery Frank

Author Jeffery Frank Ike_and_Dick_covercomes up with superlative portraits of the two politicians, concentrating on their personal relationship over the years. It’s a balanced, warts-and-all view of both men, and one even tends to feel sorry for Nixon considering how often his mentor Eisenhower slighted and snubbed him. Eisenhower comes across as considerably less jovial than the public perceived him to be. The most likeable person to appear in the story is Julie Nixon Eisenhower. By falling in love with and marrying Ike’s grandson, David, Nixon’s daughter sealed the two families by blood. Ike and Dick is just a great read for anybody interested in American politics at mid-century. Highly recommended, especially for those fascinated by Nixon’s long descent into Watergate and where it all began.

Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage by Jeffery Frank (Simon & Schuster, February 2013)

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.

Content contributed by Michael G. Arden, Audiovisual Librarian