Archive for Databases

JSTOR Announces Limited Free Reading from 1200 Journals

JSTOR has announced an expansion of its Register and Read program. For the cost of free registration, an individual may view (not print) three articles every two weeks from 1200 titles held by JSTOR. At the above link, you can register as well as peruse the list of 12oo journals available in this program.

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Searchable Database of New Jersey Attorneys

The New Jersey Judiciary has just released a database of the 80,000 lawyers certified to practice in New Jersey. The data includes the date of admission to practice in the state, current status, and county and municipality where offices are located. The listing includes private, government, and in-house counsels;  it is updated on a regular basis.

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What and Where Are The World’s Tallest Buildings?

The Skyscraper Center offers a wealth of information on these two queries, and more. There are pre-selected quick lists and facts on such topics as completed tallest buildings, proposed tallest buildings, demolished tallest buildings, number of “supertall” buildings, etc. In addition, you can create your own lists; for example, the United Arab Emirates has 440 tall buildings, among them the world’s tallest at 2717 feet – the Burj Khalifa. But there is so much more information:  each building has its own separate page containing  splendid photos, facts (official name, address, year started/completed), companies(contrators, owners, developers), figures (number of floors, elevators, parking spaces, hotel rooms, etc) as well as news articles, videos, and technical papers. Where does the United States rank? We come in with the 8th tallest building – the Willis Tower.  The Empire State Building is 18th, which is pretty remarkable given that all of the buildings ahead of it are decades newer. And Jersey City makes the list with 55 structures in various stages of development (vision, in progress, completed), headed by the completed 30 Hudson Street (aka Goldman Sachs Tower) at 781 feet.

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Open Access to Royal Society Publications

The Royal Society has announced that it has made its entire article archives open to the public. This allows researchers to review the Philosophical Transactions, the world’s first peer-reviewed journal, back to 1665. In addition, the Society’s Proceedings,  as well as its other titles, are now freely available. You can read articles by Fred Hoyle, Joseph Banks, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Paul Dirac, Crick and Watson to name a few. Over 60,000 articles are available providing an historical glimpse into the development of science in the Western world. The search screen is found here. Enjoy!

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Earthquakes Past and Present

New Jersey is not immune to earthquakes as can be seen in this article from the Earthquake Information Bulletin; more information on this topic is here. For those who want to look for past as well as contemporary occurrences, please visit Earthquake Search from the US Geological Survey; depending on the region of the world you are interested in, the data go back thousands of years. The USGS also maintains the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) comprised of 7000 monitoring stations around the country. In addition, go to its publications warehouse (use the “advanced search” option to limit to online publications) to view hundreds of titles on this subject.  Infoplease carries dozens of entries on earthquakes as does encyclopedia.com while HowStuffWorks has a very informative presentation on earthquakes. The largest earthquake ever to hit this country was in fact a series of  major quakes extending over several months – the New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-1812. Emanating from New Madrid, Missouri, these quakes were so powerful that church bells rang in Boston and the Mississippi River temporarily reversed its flow. A great site for eyewitness accounts and well as newspaper reporting is found at the Center for Earthquake Research and Information. There’s certainly a “Whole lotta shakin’ goin’  on.”

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Free Online Dissertations/Theses

PQDT OPEN is a free service provided by ProQuest, the aggregator of the fee-based ProQuest Dissertations & Theses. Open access (definition here) dissertations and theses, the vast majority dating from 2007 forward,  can be freely read online from hundreds of institutions; New York University has over 500 dissertations/theses available alone. You can search by keyword, title, year, adviser, institution; the results can be sorted by relevancy or date. If only an abstract is present, clicking on the work’s title will tell you when it will become available online. Looking up one of our ancestry groups revealed 49 titles using the term “Iroquois.” The default relevancy ranking gave us dissertations from UC Davis, and SUNY Albany, Buffalo, and Stony Brook. While nowhere as extensive as the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database, this new accessible repository is worth a look.

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Women in Politics Database

This public database from the Inter-Parliamentary Union focuses on the participation of women in the political sector. Thousands of citations can be searched by document type, country, keywords, year, language, and author. Each citation is accompanied by an abstract, and while you cannot limit the results to full-text, if a free full-text version of the citation is available, the appropriate url is found at the end of the abstract. It is kept current and includes many major publishers, periodicals, and government and NGO entities. Well worth a look. The IPU also sponsors the Women in National Parliaments section that details the participatory rate of women in national legislatures. See where the United States falls in this list.

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Clean Water Act Violations

Thanks to the New York Times, we readers have the ability to search on this interactive map the various and numerous transgressions of the Clean Water Act. For instance, New Jersey has 769 regulated water facilities of which 121, or 15.8%, were found in violation between 2004 and 2007. This site also provides us with a listing of water polluters throughout the country; you can specify down to a municipality or zip code. Its “Toxic Waters” series should be required reading.

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Free Movie Scripts Online

Want to read Quentin Tarantino’s script for his latest – Inglourious Basterds? Or the revised final screenplay for our favorite movie – The Searchers? Or for the Alien movies, the Back to the Future series, Sunset Boulevard, or Army of Darkness? They and hundreds of others repose at the Internet Movie Script Database. Ranging across the decades and genres, this unique repository allows readers access to drafts, shooting scripts, and screenplays in a simple HTML format. For those who love movies and wonder how they get to where they do, the IMSDB is certainly a place to start.

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2010 State Aid for New Jersey Municipalities

This listing is arranged by county, then municipality. Almost all towns are losing state aid; Jersey City will lose almost $2 million. Some reactions are here and here.

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Earmarks for New Jersey

There is no acceptable single definition for earmark; most of us are comfortable with the term “special funding” or the more widely-used term – “pork.” This CRS report helps to explain the vagaries involved with this term, while this 2009 CRS addition details the workings of earmarks in the House. Another great site to look for an explanation is SourceWatch. Whatever you think of this process, hundreds of millions of dollars are being funneled to New Jersey via earmarks in the 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill. The Taxpayers for Common Sense has analyzed this bill and has constructed a database listing all the earmarks it could find. You can search by senator/representative, by bill, and by state. Here is the breakdown for New Jersey. See if Jersey City is to be the recipient of any funds; how about your own hometown?(By clicking on the city/location arrow, you can limit to specific towns.) Please read “Plenty of Pork” from Inside Higher Ed.

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State of the State Addresses and State Resources

This section of the ever-informative stateline.org contains a calendar of all 50 state of the state speeches, a full text version of each one as well as an archives of speeches back to 2000. Stateline.org features breaking news stories from all the states, ranging from crime to transportation issues. One story highlights how the California government will be shutting down every other Friday, while the state of Utah has gone to a four-day workweek. Well worth a daily perusal. Another site for the states is the National Governors Association which in addition to other valuable resources  has a biographical database of all the governors both past and present. Check out New Jersey’s governors back to 1776. Look at this wiki put out by the American Library Association’s Government Documents Roundtable - the State Agency Database.

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Who’s Who in Washington

With the most sweeping staff changes in eight years, there are so many new faces in Washington that it is almost impossible to keep tabs on all of them. The Washington Post has just launched whorunsgov.com, a site carrying profiles of many of these new players. From Hill staffers to former Clinton administration politicos who now inhabit President Obama’s inner circle, this site gives you an insight into who these people are and why they matter. A great place to find information and source documentation. In concert with SourceWatch, another great site for unearthing information of those in power, whorunsgov.com allows all of us to keep abreast of the doings of the movers and shakers whether they are  elected, appointed, or otherwise part of the fabric that holds DC together.

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Quality of Nursing Home Care

This comprehensive site allows you to search for nursing homes within a specific state, county, city, or zip code. Rankings are based on a five-star system, and information is given justifying the individual rankings. A valuable tool.

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Clinton Foundation Releases Donor List

As a pre-condition to Hillary Clinton being vetted as our next Secretary of State, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, needed to publish a list of all donors to his charitable foundation to avoid any apparent conflictc of inetrest. This searchable accounting contains some of the most recognizable names and institutions in the world: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, each gave between $10 million and $25 million to the William J Clinton Foundation. Among those giving $1 million to $5 million were:the governments of Norway, Kuwait, Oman, Taiwan, Qatar as well as the Friends of Saudi Arabia, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and the Streisand Foundation. Donors down to the $250 to $1000 level are included.

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Atlantic Slave Trade Database

This remarkable site details over 35,000 voyages carrying millions of slaves across the Atlantic. Where possible, the ship’s name, its captain, year of voyage, and the number of slaves each trip carried are enumerated. As an example, the ship Pastora de Lima captained by Manoel Jose Dias set sail from Rio de Janeiro on August 4, 1816 bound for Mozambique where 404 slaves were embarked. The ship returned and arrived at Bahia, Brazil after a round-trip voyage of 165 days. Of the 404 slaves, 114 died during the passage, a 28.2% mortality rate. For some slave runs, there are breakdowns according to sex and age. Embedded within this site is the “African Names Database” which identifies 67,000 slaves by name and supplies addditional information; i.e., age, height, sex, voyage ID, etc. Accompanying all this, there are also informative essays, web resources, and lesson plans geared for grades 6-12. There are so many excellent online resources  on slavery available; here are some of the best: The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record (over 1200 images arranged according to subject); Documents on Slavery(Avalon Project); The African American: A Journey from Slavery to Freedom(with an extensive subject-arranged bibliography); Samuel J May Anti-Slavery Collection(from Cornell University with hundreds of digital texts); Slavery in the United States(from the always dependable Spartacus Educational); The Antislavery Literature Project(arranged by type; i.e. poetry, travel accounts, etc); Born in Slavery(contains 2300 first-hand accounts of slavery) and the Frederick Douglass Papers(both from the Library of Congress);  Documenting the American South;  and Slavery(Encyclopaedia Britannica). Do you want to know how many slaves were held in New Jersey between 1790 and 1860 according to the census? Or what county in New Jersey accounted for most of the slaves? Try the Historical Census Browser. Hundreds of books on this topic can be read here. The American Anti-Slavery Society was foremost in decrying this “peculiar institution”;  you may read their literature here.        

        

Make me a grave wher’er you will,

In a lowly plain, or a loft hill;

Make it among earth’s humblest graves,

But not in a land where men are slaves.

 

Frances Harper. Bury Me in a Free Land.(1845)

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Autism Legislation Database

Autism profoundly affects those who have it and those who care for them. The National Conference of State Legislatures has produced the Autism Legislation Database. Covering legislation from the 2008 session on, you can search by state, topic, or keyword. This is particularly important for New Jersey as this state has the highest rates of autism(for a variety of reasons) in the country as reported in this study by the CDC. In addition to appropriate databases, the Library also has a fine collection of works on this disability, among them these recent books:

Autism spectrum disorders : interventions and treatments for children and youth.
Autism spectrum disorders : psychological theory and research.
The encyclopedia of autism spectrum disorders.
Helping children with autism become more social :ways to use narrative play.
Identifying, assessing, and treating autism at school.

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Comparing Hospitals and Their Level of Care

Trying to find a hospital which has a good record in treating certain medical conditions or performing certain surgical procedures can be a daunting affair. How can one know the information is reliable? Where can one find statistics dealing with their level of care? What about patient ratings of the services they received? This site, Hospital Compare, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will assist you. While not every hospital is included, there are a fair number in here, almost 2400 or 60% of all hospitals in the country. New Jersey is represented by 68 hospitals; Hudson County has 6.

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County-Level Health Insurance Statistics from the Census Bureau

The Census Burean has released statistics highlighting those who have health insurance vs those who do not. The tables can be broken down by sex, age, and income. In addition, there are maps that show health insurance along racial lines.(However, those of us who have color acuity problems may find the maps unreadable.) Look in the tables for New Jersey counties and see how we do.

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Test Driving New Databases

Most of us are acquainted with Academic Search Premier and Business Source Premier, two of the Library’s most heavily used databases. Well, meet their souped-up versions, Academic Search Complete(ASC) and Business Source Complete(BSC). ASC boasts coverage of over 10,000 journals including 6100 full text titles of which 5100 are peer-reviewed. BSC contains arcane information cloaked in such terms as SWOT analysis and Black Book reports, and like its smaller brother, it features the full text of Harvard Business Review back to 1922. We have until the end of December to try them out. So why don’t you take them out for a spin and see how they handle? As always, comments are welcome.

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