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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.
VT 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:
Ebsco Help also offers its own LibGuide
and YouTube tutorials.
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 Material
Portal 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 support
Each 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
Faculty may be interested in
JSTOR: Search Help: Resources & Overview
JSTOR libguides present how-to information and descriptions of content from more perspectives than the traditional support pages do. Take a look under the different tabs.
Project MUSE Resources
Information about MUSE ebooks and journals, personalizations, citing, MUSE content in various styles, and the MUSE search browser plug-in.
SAGE is a major publisher of books, journals, reference works, and numerical data. CQPress is a division of SAGE.
- DataPlanet libguides: by subject , including help about data in general, contents and features on the DataPlanet platform, statistical information on popular topics, and data sources for many countries and US states.
- SAGE Research Methods : faculty resources aren’t only for faculty. Topics include advanced search tips, research tools such as the “methods map” that are built into the SRM platform, and , using SRM videos and incorporating SRM into common courses in disciplines like history, sociology, and business.
- CQ Press Library: Help. CQ Press provides a number of databases on US politics that are updated annually or more frequently (like this). The same techniques for searching, browsing, citing, and managing apply across the database; for distinctive features of each, see its Help link in its page banner. (Many CQ political reference sources have migrated to the SAGE Knowledge book platform.)
- SAGE Video libguide
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
Find library resources by their format
3. News/journalism databases help pages
Factiva user guide
Guide to using the powerful search and retrieval tools for our premier database news reporting from around the world. (The help link inside Dow Jones's Factiva interface does not work in our academic subscription.) Libguide from ProQuest, which distributes Factiva in the academic market.
Readex: learn more
Readex 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.
Instructors may also be interested in overviews and applications of Readex collections
- 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: help
Tips for working in East View's archived Russian newspapers
Global Press Archive: help
Navigating and using the (mostly) open-access newspapers from around the world from the CRL-East View alliance.
4. Law & government database help pages
HeinOnline Knowledge Base
Things 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.
Fastcase User Guide
Exemplars 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:
Connect 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.
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.
6. Mapping and related visualization tools help pages
Social Explorer Guide
Video 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
How-to information is available in the Support menu in banner atop the SimplyAnalytics interface. Highlights:
Most help for users is behind the Support menu in the databases page banner. Highlights: Links may change as PolicyMap rolls out a new version (in Beta in early spring 2021).
7. Streaming video providers' help pages
Academic Video Online and Alexander Street
AVON 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.
Docuseek Help Wiki - for users
Documentaries on Docuseek will come to Virginia Tech in January 2021.
Films on Demand Quick Start Guide for Educators
Most of the other parts of the FoD support center are directed at site administrators.
Film Platform User Guide
Addresses login, search, sharing film links in Canvas, email, etc .
Kanopy Help Center: For Viewers
Articles about using the Kanopy service, the interface, technology problems, viewing on different devices.
Libguide to using the SAGE video platform also includes a tab addressed to faculty.
8. Research and impact metrics help