Session Descriptions

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Area Studies at Northwestern University Library

  • David Easterbrook, Curator, Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies
  • Li (Qunying) Li, East Asian Studies Librarian and Liaison for Education & Social Policy
  • Jeannette Moss, Reference Librarian and Liaison for Slavic Languages and

This session will introduce students to resources for African, Middle Eastern, East Asian, and Slavic studies. Instructors will discuss both print and electronic materials. In addition to showcasing the resources of Northwestern's unparallelled Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, panelists will highlight libraries and archives in the greater Chicago area that have particularly strong area studies collections, and discuss research strategies for area studies.


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Beyond Northwestern: Research Libraries and Collections in Chicago

  • Harriet Lightman, Head, Academic Liaison Services and Liaison for History
  • William McHugh, Reference Collection Management Librarian and Liaison for
    Classics and Philosophy

Join Northwestern University librarians on a virtual tour of the rich resources available in libraries and repositories throughout the greater Chicago area.  In this session, instructors will examine some of these resources, and look at the way the various libraries' Web sites can help identify research materials.  Included will be the University of Chicago, the Center for Research Libraries, the Newberry Library, and the Chicago History Museum, among others.

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Bodies, Genders, and Beyond: Electronic Resources for Gender Studies

This workshop session will focus on the broad spectrum of resources including full texts, abstracts, directories, and other electronic material available to students whose investigations lead them to study women and men, gender and sexuality, and issues of cultural identity and sexual politics. In addition to suggesting effective search strategies and optimal electronic resources for initiating an investigation or research project, the workshop will also treat specialized resources in the social sciences and the humanities depending upon participants' interests.

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Electronic Resources for Education and Social Policy

  • Li (Qunying) Li, East Asian Studies Librarian and Liaison for Education & Social Policy
  • John Hernandez, Social Sciences Coordinator and Liaison for Economics, Psychology, Cognitive Science and Latina/o Studies

This session will introduce students to electronic resources central to the study of education and social policy.  Among the resources to be discussed will be ERIC; Education Administration Abstracts; PAIS; Policy File; and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.

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Finding Primary Sources Online: Opening the Virtual Door to the Archives 

Personal papers, institutional records, correspondence, historic photos, and other primary sources are crucial to research in most academic fields. However, these unique materials are difficult to track down because they are organized, indexed, and accessed very differently from books and periodicals. Fortunately, you can now benefit from technologies that make archival collections much easier to locate. This session will unlock the secrets of the archives by revealing how to locate primary source material through online databases and other digital resources; how to use archival finding aids; and what steps to take after you’ve identified the resources you need.  

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From Scriptorium to Printing Press to Electronic Facsimile: Access to Medieval and Early-Modern Documents

  • Charlotte Cubbage, Humanities Coordinator and Liaison for English, Radio/TV/Film, Dance, Drama, Performance Studies, & Theatre

Scholars  who focus on medieval and early modern periods have unprecedented electronic access to a variety of documents.  They also face some unusual challenges:  non-standardized spellings (deuel, deuell, deuyl, deuyll, devill, dieul, dieull, divel, dyvel, dyvell…) manuscript handwriting, and a plethora of tools and databases to navigate.  This session will provide an overview of digital resources, including manuscript collections, early modern lexicons, and finding tools for secondary resources.

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Google Books and "Real" Books

This fall, Northwestern University Library is beginning a partnership with Google to digitize significant portions of our collections. In the course of your graduate careers, you'll see more and more books coming online. Join a panel of Northwestern librarians who will introduce you to our collections of electronic books and other digital initiatives, and give you some tips on what to expect in the future.

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Government Information: Online! 

Did you know that students and faculty at Northwestern have online access to more than 120,000 congressional hearings published since 1824? Or that digital copies of U.S. decennial census reports going back to 1790 are available, for free, on the web? Do you know where to find the voting records for all resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council since 1946? Increasingly, both historical and contemporary government information is available online, and in this session we'll help you jump-start your research by showing you some of the best commercial and public domain sources of this content.

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Historic Newspapers

Because newspapers are difficult to preserve and store in their original print format, libraries have long relied on facsimiles in lieu of paper originals. As a welcome alternative to microfilm and fiche, an increasing number of historical news sources are now available in digital format. In this session, we will survey some of the materials available to members of the Northwestern community. Sources will include examples of U.S. papers, ranging from late 18th century newspapers to major urban dailies (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times) as well as foreign news sources, such as Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) and the Times of London. We will also discuss some sources for surveying more recent events in the foreign press, including World News Connection, Factiva, and China Core Newspapers.


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Mapping People Place and Space: A Short Introduction to GIS in the Social Sciences

  • Mark Hauser, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
  • Chieko Maene, Maps and State Documents Librarian, and Liaison for Geography

Geospatial analysis has become an increasingly important approach to research across many fields of inquiry, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) an increasingly essential part of the social scientists toolkit. There has also been an explosion in publicly and commercially available data generated to be used in such analysis. From data visualization to predictive modeling, GIS holds enormous potential in establishing research questions, reducing data, and answering questions in which space and place are important components.  Using examples from archaeology and anthropology, this seminar will serve as a short introduction to the potential of geospatial analysis in the social sciences and the ways in which GIS can be used to map people, place and space.

The workshop will also introduce you to the geospatial reference, consultation and instruction services available through the University Library.

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Open Source Statistical Analysis for Social Science Research

The open source movement has made high-powered software available to the entire scientific community at no cost--a boon to graduate students with tiny stipends! This session will introduce you to R (, an open source software environment for statistical computing and graphics.  We'll discuss how R can help you visualize and analyze complex data sets, focusing on behavioral data (e.g., reaction times in an experiment; patterns of an individual responses to a questionnaire).

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Resources for Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • William McHugh, Reference Collection Management Librarian and Liaison for
    Classics and Philosophy
  • Geoffrey Morse, Reference Librarian and Liaison for Religion

This introduction to electronic research through the Northwestern Library system will focus on databases and full text resources linked from the Religious Studies and Philosophy research guides. We will discuss additional electronic resources from the Library’s webpage.

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Resources for Theatre, Performance Studies and Drama

  • Charlotte Cubbage, Humanities Coordinator and Liaison for English, Radio/TV/Film, Dance, Drama, Performance Studies, & Theatre

The world's a stage, which vastly complicates research in the information age.  This session highlights resources for both textual and performance aspects of drama and theatre.  We will touch on primary source materials, image databases, archives, and electronic texts.  We will also view a variety of secondary source materials appropriate to the interdisciplinary nature of theatre, including historical newspapers and electronic journal sets.

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Resources in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

  • J. Michael Bailey, Professor of Psychology
  • John Hernandez, Social Sciences Coordinator and Liaison for Economics, Psychology, Cognitive Science and Latina/o Studies

This session will introduce students to concepts related to psychological and behavioral research and key library resources in these areas. Among the topics we will discuss are planning a line of research, the importance of a good literature review, and the use of meta-analysis in research. Resources to be highlighted include APA-sponsored databases (PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS, and PsycCRITIQUES), the Social Sciences Citation Index, the Annual Review of Psychology, and the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences.

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Social Sciences Computing Cluster

The Social Sciences Computing Cluster (SSCC) provides a rich suite of statistical software applications, an advanced computational capability, and a centrally-managed data storage service to support the research activities of Northwestern social scientists. Accounts on the SSCC are available free of charge to Northwestern social sciences faculty researchers and to their graduate students. The cluster of Linux systems provides two interactive systems, a batch cluster with 160 CPU cores that could run up to 160
simultaneous jobs, a network file service with 6.0 TB of storage, a wide variety of statistical software applications, online access to NU Library's datalib files, and consulting and education services.

In this session, instructors will introduce participants to these resources and discuss their role in your doctoral research. A brief demonstration of the SSCC will complete this presentation.

Students interested in the Social Sciences Computing Cluster can learn more by visiting <>.

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Social Science Data Services: How to Find the Data You Need

Participants in this session will be introduced to the research process and data consulting services which are available through the Social Science Data Services (SSDS).  Data Services maintains access to data files acquired from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research and identifies other data resources which are available for the Northwestern students and faculty.

These data can be used for research and teaching in the social sciences and related fields such as economics, political science, education, sociology, anthropology, and psychology. Participants will have the opportunity to review a number of sources by topic and to learn how to access the resources for their own research.

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Specialized Library Tours and Collection Introductions

  • Patricia Ogedengbe, Librarian of Africana
  • Catherine Grove, Head of Aquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Department and Liaison for Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Stacey Devine, Assistant Head, Acquisitions and Rapid Cataloging Department and Liaison for Communication Studies
  • Russell Clement, Art Collection Librarian
  • Lindsay King, Art Collection Public Services Librarian

    (Choose one)

    Tour of the University Library

    Tour of Africana Library: Patricia Ogedengbe

    Specialized Tour for Communication Sciences and Disorders: Catherine Grove

    Specialized Tour In Communication Studies & Media/Technology/Society: Stacey Devine

    Art and Architecture Collection: Introduction and Tour: Russell Clement and Lindsay King

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Student Projects: Graduate Stipends in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Each year the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences offers a small number of research awards to doctoral students in the Humanities and Social Sciences. These awards are intended as one of the products of the Electronic Resources Forum, that is, students learn about new technology enhancements during the ERF and apply them in the initial stages of their research. The students who receive the awards then return to campus and encourage other students during the next ERF.

The awards include a small salary for the student and supportive hardware and/or software purchased by the college for their use. The purpose of the awards is to facilitate research that is substantially enhanced by information technology.

Examples of such research enhancements include: 3-D modeling, digital scanning and recording in the field and at controlled archives, spatial/social mapping, and video archeological surveying and GIS analysis. Join us for a brief overview of the research done by award recipients across the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Abstracts Forthcoming.

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Travelling Light: Digital Capture in the Archives

Digital cameras and mobile devices are impacting research methods in archival and special collections reading rooms. Every repository has its own policy for digital camera use. Given the limitations of a particular setting, what is the best way to capture flat documents, bound materials and photographs? We will demonstrate a variety of techniques for capturing images including: a DIY copystand, a handheld scanner and mobile phone applications. Cost and copyright implications, storage solutions and image quality will be discussed.

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Who Owns Your Work and What Can They Do With it? Essentials of Copyright for Graduate Students

  • Mariann Burright, Scholarly Communication Librarian and Liaison for Life
    Sciences & Environmental Studies

As the creator of your own course material, papers, multimedia, dissertation, and many other types of works, you are the copyright owner to them. This ownership, by federal U.S. Copyright law, allows you to reproduce, distribute, display, perform, and create derivative works. But what happens when you want to publish your work, or use the lecture notes you created for a Northwestern class later when you're teaching somewhere else, or when you want to turn your dissertation into a book, or when someone else wants to use portions of your work in their dissertation, or when a co-author wants to publish a book chapter based on a paper that you wrote together? How can publishing open access help your career? These are just a few scenarios where copyright ownership is no longer straightforward.

This session will provide you with the basic copyright knowledge and tools to help you navigate through these, and other questions.

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The Work of Research in the Age of Electronic Reproduction: Organizing Scholarly Resources with EndNote® and Zotero

In an increasingly complex and fractured information landscape keeping track of your research can be an overwhelming task. Fortunately tools are available to help.  EndNote® is a powerful bibliographic tool that can help you organize your research materials and save you countless hours in the course of your reading and writing. In this session we will introduce you to the software and show you how EndNote® can help you gather information from remote databases, organize and sort records and notes, and automatically format citations and bibliographies in a finished paper.  In addition we will also provide an overview of Zotero.  Zotero is freely available citation management software that works with the Firefox Internet browser.  Zotero is easy to use and allows you to collect, manage, and cite your research sources. Both Zotero and EndNote® can be invaluable resources to anyone pursuing research at the graduate level.

ERF Homepage | Go to Top | Last updated: 08/24/2010