Political science, governance, and international affairs: How...? (Vendors' help sites)
What's on this page
This page is divided into sections devoted to getting help
- from the VT Libraries about our resources and services
- directly from our vendors about platforms and interfaces that are used
- by across many disciplines (eg, Ebsco, ProQuest, Gale, Adam Matthew, JSTOR, MUSE, SAGE)
- by major ebook aggregators (ProQuest, Ebsco, HathiTrust, ACLS, Internet Archive)
- to locate current and archived new sources
- to locate government and legal information
- to locate research data
- to use our online mapping/GIS tools (Social Explorer, SimplyAnalytics, PolicyMap)
- to access and use the features of streaming video
- to measure scholarly impact.
But you might just do a keyword search on this page for the name of a vendor whose platform vexes you.
1. General help pages from widely used providers
- About the ProQuest platform (libguide)VT Libraries provide several dozen databases from ProQuest, including some essential resources for political science, business/nonprofits, and history researchers. Libguide pages from ProQuest provides detailed help for mastering searching, interpreting records, and managing search information.
- EBSCO ConnectVT Libraries and our statewide consortium, VIVA, provide dozens of subject-oriented databases on the EBSCOhost platform for searching the literature in many social science and humanities fields. Many Ebsco databases provide direct access to the full text of articles and (with DRM restrictions) ebooks. This portal for training aids can help you with:
- EbscoHost Research Databases
- Ebsco Historical Digital Archives
- Ebsco eBooks
- Flipster on the desktop
- Flipster on mobile devices
If you contact a VT librarian about a problem in a database on the EbscoHost platform, please identify the specific database, not the merely generic "Ebsco."
- Gale Databases: Training MaterialPortal to training materials and videos for the many primary- and secondary-source databases provided by one of our major providers of content in humanities and current affairs, from Gale -- including products VT does not subscribe to.
- Adam Matthew Digital supportEach Adam Matthew database has a detailed Help function built in and keyed to the content of that database. The "page-by-page guides" address
- getting started and using "My archive" accounts
- working with document images
- using interactive maps, interpretive essays, and other supplemental materials
- Example: East India Company
- Example: Advertising America
- JSTOR: Search Help: Resources & OverviewJSTOR provides lots of guidance about its archived journals, ebooks, and primary sources. In addition to the selected webpages below, look for how-to advice in JSTOR libguides and the JSTOR YouTube channel .
- Introduction to Searching on JSTOR.
- Proximity and other powerful searching
- Focusing with search fields
- Citation management
- Organizing research with an individual JSTOR Workspace account
- Images (Artstor in JSTOR)
- Active projects at JSTOR Labs
- Information for faculty and researchers
- Platform features: New tools for research
- Introduction to Searching on JSTOR.
- Project MUSE ResourcesInformation about MUSE ebooks and journals, personalizations, citing, MUSE content in various styles, and the MUSE search browser plug-in.
- User guides: basic information, often in video
- Research help: detailed advice about searching the MUSE platform
- Frequently asked questions about access, license terms, technical issues, and journal and book content
- SAGE Publications LibguidesSAGE Publishing is a major publisher of books, journals, reference works, and numerical data in social science. SAGE libguides describe the purpose and content and advise about using features of the resources. These libguides address Virginia Tech subscriptions:
- SAGE Research Methods
- SAGE Video
- SAGE Business Cases
- CQ Press: CQ Researcher
- SAGE Journals
- SAGE Explorer Tutorials Videos on using important SAGE resources, plus a schedule of monthly live sessions with SAGE trainers
- Internet Archive help centerHelp mostly about accessing and downloading digitized books and other texts, but also has sections about using Internet Archive's web, audio, video, and software archives. IA's Introductory tour video is rich but rather long.
Get help using VT Libraries
VT Libraries help services
The library homepage includes a QuickLinks menu, directing users to pages highly used by undergrads, grad students, and faculty. A site map link appears below the maroon swoosh on the bottom of library webpages.
The Ask a Librarian links appearing throughout the site direct you to people who can help you by phone call, text, or email -- along with a searchable directory of answers to frequently asked questions.
Our various research guides page direct you to resources in academic subjects as well as tools and techniques for using the resources and services of the Virginia Tech libraries and other other academic libraries.
Odyssey, our "learning object repository," offers a growing list of how-to videos and handouts, addressing topics that include
- Discovery Search (aka WorldCat Discovery)
- Finding and checking out printed books
- ILLiad interlibrary loan for getting your hands on books and articles
- Digital literacy
- Research processes, practices, and tools for undergrad projects
- and more.
Find library resources by their format
2. Ebook platform help
- HathiTrust topic guideHathiTrust brings together and catalogs books digitized by Google and the Internet Archive. More information.
- Digitalia Hispánica helpTextual help is in English, with a video tutorial in Spanish.
3. News/journalism databases help pages
- Factiva user guideGuide to using the powerful search and retrieval tools for our premier database of news reporting from around the world.
- Learn to Keyword Search within Dow Jones Factiva (YouTube video)
- Search Builder Quick Reference Guide (PDF)
- Search Builder Cheat Sheet to make searches more efficient
- Guide to NewsBank Access World NewsGuidance for using Newsbank's news-based databases, and NewsBank "Special reports" along with tips about finding a research topic and dealing with "fake news." Resources for Remote Use and Online Learning includes
- "How-to" videos about searching, focusing, and managing/sharing results
- User stories about teaching, learning, and engaging the public with AWN
- Recorded webinars about products.
- Readex: learn moreReadex is a major provider of our library's digital archives of historical US newspapers and imprints. Readex is a division of NewsBank, and practical advice searching, interpreting, and managing results in the Readex platform appears in the NewsBank support pages.
- On-demand training videos oriented around Readex individual Readex products and collections
- On-demand webinars videos about teaching, using Readex collections
- Event talks. Wide-ranging talks by scholars at Readex-hosted events
- Course mapping services, available on request, provided visual representation of the relationship among selected Readex products and actual courses.
- East View Russian-language serials: helpTips for working in East View's archived Russian newspapers
- Global Press Archive: helpNavigating and using the (mostly) open-access newspapers from around the world from the Center for Research Libraries (CRL)-East View alliance.
4. Law, policy, & government database help pages
- HeinOnline Knowledge BaseThings to know to get the most from our primary provider of law reviews, primary sources in US and foreign public law, and the like. VT does not subscribe to all the Hein products that may be discussed in their support materials.
- HeinOnline YouTube channel, including How to Search in HeinOnline, a six-minute video
- Lengthy PDF Comprehensive User's Guide.
- To improve the precision of your Hein searches, see also Advanced Search Syntax User’s Guide.
- Libguides provide detailed description of the content, searching and browsing tips, and support resources for each Hein collection, organized by collection title and by topic.
- Fastcase User GuideExemplars of commonly used search syntax are built into the search screen. Detailed help for search interfaces, syntax, and managing results is available in two major formats:
- Video tutorials on Fastcase's YouTube channel.
- Downloadable PDF documentation and resources.
- Voxgov HelpConnect via "Search syntax?" link beneath the search box. Illustrated guidance on using search and visualization interfaces; Boolean, phrase, wildcard, and proximity syntax; filters; comparisons, personalization, and more.
- Policy Commons YouTube channelCombines brief how-to demonstrations of using search features with lengthy presentations about "gray literature" vs traditional scholarly publications.
5. Research data providers' help pages
The Virginia Tech Libraries belong to non-profit, university-based repositories like ICPSR (numerical data), QDR (qualitative data), and Roper Center (public opinion polls). Those repositories typically offer information more broadly about research methods, data-related issues, and instructional materials. We also buy data collections from commercial vendors.
Locally, the library's Data Services unit offers both expertise and facilities to support your data-related work across the research lifecycle.
- ICPSR [Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research]: Find & analyze dataICPSR's site site also includes broader advice on accessing, downloading, and using its datasets.
- Qualitative Data Repository (QDR): Guidance & ResourcesQDR's "diverse guidance and resources to help researchers to prepare their data for sharing via QDR, and to access and make use of data projects stored in QDR."
- Roper Center LearnHow-to information about using Roper Center's own tools for research and classroom use, along with information about the fundamentals and history of public opinion polling
- Data Planet Statistical Ready Reference"Libguide" covers processes and contents for using the rich and varied content of our principal collection of numerical data. See also these companion guides
- Data Planet Statistical Datasets Quick Reference
- Data Planet Libguides listed by topic and searchable
- Data Basics. Research advice: tips for finding, evaluating, interpreting, and using statistics
- Economist Intelligence Unit [EIU] TutorialsVideo overviews of the content and functionalities of EIU products that the Tech library subscribes to. EIU reports combine country and regional forecasts, analysis, and aggregate data for ~200 "geographies":
- EIU Viewpoint, 2021- : How to find everything you need
- EIU Country Reports, 1996-2021, archives on a different platform (eiu.com...) from Viewpoint's.
6. Mapping and related visualization tools help pages
- Social Explorer GuideVideo and animated learning modules for faculty, students, and librarians. Tabs important domains for using maps, including political science, history, and public health, point to curated maps, datasets, and "teach & learn" modules for classroom instruction. See also
- SimplyAnalytics SupportHow-to information is available in the Support menu in banner atop the SimplyAnalytics interface. Highlights:
- Intro to SimplyAnalytics video
- Training Guide (downloadable PDF)
- PolicyMap SupportMost help for users is behind the Support menu in the databases page banner. Highlights:
- Tutorial guides walk you through the most popular features.
- PolicyMap Primer. Summary of features in downloadable PDF .
- Quickstart Video is a 3-minute introduction.
- Training Video Gallery .
- Mapchats Blog.Case studies and the like applying PolicyMap to current and historical policy problems.
- Mapchats Webinars.Recorded "deep dives" about the application of GIS, data, and maps to analyze problems and policies.
7. Streaming video providers' help pages
- Academic Video Online and Alexander StreetAVON incorporates and adds to content in our existing Alexander Street streaming video collection. You may encounter both interfaces.
- Document View - AVON Videos. Searching and viewing content of Academic Video Online (AVON) on the ProQuest platform.
- Academic Video Online libguide. Using AVON's visual search interface.
- Alexander Street In Depth. How-to videos about using the functionalities of Alexander Street's visual interface: extracting clips, creating playlists, searching, using the video and audio players. Also provides extensive, text-based Help section.
- Using ProQuest and Alexander Street in Canvas ... for Instructors. Recorded training webinar.
- Docuseek Help Wiki - for usersDocumentaries on Docuseek will come to Virginia Tech in January 2021.
- Films on Demand Quick Start Guide for EducatorsMost of the other parts of the FoD support center are directed at site administrators.
- Film Platform User GuideAddresses login, search, sharing film links in Canvas, email, etc .
- Kanopy Help Center: For ViewersArticles about using the Kanopy service, the interface, technology problems, viewing on different devices.
- Swank Digital Campus Streaming FAQCommon questions, answered.
- SAGE VideoLibguide to using the SAGE video platform also includes a tab addressed to faculty.
8. Research and impact metrics help
The following are vendors' own support resources. For advice on representing the significance of your work, see the Tell Your Story: Impact & Engagement guide.
- Clarivate Analytics (Web of Science) Training PortalGuide to Clarivate (formerly Thomson Reuters, formerly ISI) products, including Web of Science, Journal Citation Reports [impact factors], Essential Science Indicators [rankings], and also the EndNote reference manager. Points to text guides and videos. Don't overlook the built-in help link in each Clarivate product; though you may need to drill down some to reach substantive help.
- Web of Science Core Collection Help.
- Master journal list. The journals indexed in the various Clarivate databases.
- Scopus: access and use support center (from Elsevier)This landing page addresses search techniques and syntax.
- Quick reference guide PDF
- Scopus tutorials. Animations; descriptive text available.
- Scopus training videos on YouTube
- Scopus webinar series.
- SciVal: learn & support (from Elsevier)Includes "quick-start" video introduction and metrics guidebooks to Elsevier's database of "the research performance of over 10,000 research institutions and 230 regions and countries."
- Funding Institutional resource center (from Elsevier)"Funding skills training" section offers online lectures on finding research funding and writing winning grants