I have been working at the library for a few years. I’d like to share a few research tools on the library website I’ve learned to use that have come in handy for me, and will hopefully be useful for you.

Tool #1: LexisNexis academic database (UW Restricted – requires NetID!)

“Extensive array of full-text news (newspapers, wire services, transcripts and newsletters), business literature, industry and company information, legal, biographical, and reference resources.”

LexisNexis is a great resource for information on an event, person, company, or general topic. For example, if I was writing a paper on the CIA and US military’s targeted killing program, and I wanted to look at news coverage, LexisNexis returns 999 hits from dozens of news sources. (To repeat the search, use keyword “CIA targeted killing” in the “Search the News” box located at the top left of the screen and select “Major World Publications” under Source Type.)

Or, if I wanted to research a public figure, I could use the “Research People” option to search recent news stories mentioning that person as well as biographical information.

LexisNexis is also an invaluable tool for conducting news analysis. Say you want to investigate the biases of a particular news source by comparing the way that news source covered particular events compared with other news sources. LexisNexis lets you do that quickly. So as an example, we can compare how the death of Hugo Chavez was covered by major world publications. I would use the “Search the News” feature, pick “Major World Publications” under “By Source Type.”

To compare two specific publications to each other, I would use the “By Source Title” box.

Here’s a shortcut to the library webpage with a link to LexisNexis on it. Before you click the link to LexisNexis, make sure you are signed in to off-campus access. (To sign in, click on the red box at the top right corner of the webpage and sign in with your UW NetID.)

www.lib.washington.edu/digitalregistry/list/article/equals/LexisNexis%20academic/

Tool #2: Media search by artist

Search our collection of films and music by actor, director, composer, etc.

As a student you have access to the media collections of all UW libraries. There are a lot of great films and music available, especially foreign films.

One thing that has come in pretty handy for me is the ability to search the media collection by artist – e.g. director, performer, or composer. Example: you enjoyed one of Samira Makhmalbaf’s films and you want to see what else we have that she directed (or was involved in making one way or another). Using the media search tool (found here: http://library.uwb.edu/media.html), you would select “Director” from the drop-down menu and then enter Samira Makhmalbaf’s name into the search box. We have four films she directed and/or wrote.

That’s all, folks. If you have further questions about these and other research resources available to you, don’t hesitate to contact one of our librarians who can be found at the north end of the Information Commons Desk on the first floor of the Campus Library. The number for the Reference Desk is 425.352.3146.

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