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Library offers new digital features

Research and document delivery streamlined

Dartmouth's digital library has added two new services to streamline research and eight new databases for the fall term, as well as new pages to help new researchers navigate its website. DartDoc and Article Linker, the two new research services, will help researchers to obtain materials more quickly and efficiently, said Mary LaMarca, Manager of Digital Library Services.

Article Linker
Article Linker will reduce the time it takes to search through the different databases on the library's website.

After searching for a topic an Article Linker icon will appear next to the articles that come up, LaMarca said. Clicking on this link will take a researcher to a page that will let them know if the article they are looking for is available digitally or in a journal in the stacks.

For instance, if a user were to look up "Greenspan" in an economics database, a number of hits would come up. Next to these hits would be an Article Linker icon. Clicking on this icon would take a user to a page with a list of four steps to finding the article. The first step provides links to digital copies of the article. If unavailable, a user then proceeds to step two, which would have links to the library's catalog system and indicates whether or not that journal was available. If that fails, step three will provide a link to the Interlibrary Loan Management system, so that the journal can be borrowed from another library. Step four provides help in using Article Linker and a link to a list of all online journals the College subscribes to.

"If you're doing research, Article Linker will really save you a lot of time," LaMarca said.

Before Article Linker, users had to look up each article they were interested in and search separate databases and the stacks to see if it was available. Article linker removes this step.

Kathryn Cottingham, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, says Article Linker has helped her with her research.

"I figure it saves me somewhere in the neighborhood of five minutes for every article I want to find," she said.

DartDoc
The digital library also has a new online interface called DartDoc for document delivery and interlibrary loan. Faculty members may use DartDoc to request items held locally within the Dartmouth College Library or from other libraries and information sources. The DartDoc form does not require them to make a distinction on where the item is held. Students and other registered borrowers may use DartDoc to request materials that are available at the off-campus sites, the Storage Library and the Matthews-Fuller Health Sciences Library, or to request materials not available within Dartmouth's library system.

One advantage of DartDoc is that the researcher can view the status of a request online at any time. Before DartDoc there was no indication as to the status of a request until it arrived.

DartDoc is also linked to Article Linker; users who use Article Linker's third step will be redirected to DartDoc and Article Linker will automatically fill out their requests.

DartDoc also allows users to access borrowed digital materials more easily. Previously, the library would send them a user name and password to log into a special site each time they requested a digital document. Now all documents are delivered to their DartDoc account where they can use one password.

DartDoc is also a quicker and more efficient way to borrow books from other libraries, LaMarca said. When users fill out the form it goes electronically to the library's staff, who then verify it, locate the publication, and send the request to the appropriate library or information provider, said Jennifer Taxman, who oversees the library's document delivery/interlibrary loan services.

Cottingham said that DartDoc has both benefits and drawbacks. The previous interlibrary loan management system required users to go to different websites depending on the type of material they were looking for, while DartDoc uses the same page for all types of requests. However, Cottingham said entering the fields at the request page has become harder. With the old system she was able to cut and paste all of the information about the book or article she was looking for into one spot, while she now has to fill out each field separately.

Other new features
In addition to these new programs a number of full-text databases and other databases have been added to the digital library.

LION, which stands for Literature Online, is a database of over 300,000 full-text works of English poetry, prose and drama.

Early American Imprints, an online, full-text collection of reports, documents, and journals from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives is also available. The database was made from documents from Dartmouth's library.

In addition to the congressional documents the digital library has an online collection of Early American imprints dated from 1639 to 1800, containing the full text of all known books, pamphlets and broadsides, which are large pieces of paper used often to print public notices, printed in the American colonies and later the United States.

Other notable additions include a classical music library with online streaming audio, a film index with information about the plot, casts, crew, and more from American and international films made in the 20th century, and ARTstor, an online database of art images from a number of cultures and disciplines.

The library has also added both a page to help new students navigate the digital library and another to help users get started with their research. To access either page, go to the digital library homepage and click on the "Welcome New Students!" link on the main page or the "Getting Started with Research" link under the quicklinks drop-down menu.

DartDoc and Article Linker both went live in August. Article Linker is being expanded daily, as the library is continually updating and adding to its database.

"Since this is all new, you'll hit bugs sometimes," said LaMarca explaining that the system, especially the Article Linker system, is constantly undergoing revisions.

To use DartDoc go to their website and sign up for an account. Article Linker does not require an account and will appear as an icon next to search results done through the digital library. Off campus users can log on using Kerberos.

For more information on the Digital Library, e-mail Mary Lamarca.

By CHRISTOPHER MOSS '07

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 12/17/08