Our Databases Reorganized

There were some changes made this week to the way we organize the many different databases we now have. We think it's an improvement and we hope you do too. Let me explain:

You know that Databases A-Z list in the Find articles section in the middle of our web site? Well it originated many years ago when our electronic offerings were a small fraction of their current number. It was intended to bring them all of them together in one master list, with an inclusive interpretation of the term “database”. Over time, this list has grown to include not just journal indexes but electronic statistical sources and e-books as well. These sources were all electronic but they were also significantly different.

As the list grew (and the pace is accelerating rather than slowing down), it was becoming quite unwieldy. For someone looking for journal articles on a subject, especially first or second year students, that long list was pretty intimidating (and probably confusing).

We have now separated these kinds of resources to make searching more logical and intuitive. The result?
  • All of our electronic statistical sources (CANSIM, E-stat, TSE, etc.) can be found under the Statistics and Data link in the upper left corner of the web site.
  • All of our e-book titles (such as the CICA Handbook or Oxford English Dictionary) can be found under the E-books link, also in the upper left corner.
  • All of our journal indexes (Ebsco, JSTOR, PsychInfo, etc.) are what remain in the Databases A-Z list.

We think this will have many benefits:

  1. Give the journal databases a greater focus
  2. Strengthen the unique identities of statistical resources and e-book collections
  3. Greatly reduce the length of the alphabetical databases list
  4. Almost certainly prove less daunting a list for students, especially less experienced researchers
  5. Save researchers’ time browsing through irrelevant sources

Of course, on the Web, nothing is "written in stone". If you don't like these changes, let me know at ron.houlihan@smu.ca (and if you agree it's an improvement, I'd like to know that as well).


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