List of Online Journals: Explained

April 1, 2015

Ever noticed the List of Online Journals link under Research at both the top and bottom of the library’s homepage? It’s a pretty handy place to locate an article or book online or browse for journals in your subject area. The relationship between this list and the library catalog can be pretty confusing so here’s a brief explanation. The List of Online Journals is updated continuously as items are added to our online collections so it’s an up-to-date list of online journals and books to which you have access. This information is then added to the library catalog every couple weeks. So, in nearly ever instance, your item will be located in both databases and you can feel free to use whichever one you prefer for your searching.

Using the List of Online Journals is quite straightforward. Start by typing the Title, Publisher, ISSN/ISBN of the journal or book for which you’re searching (or Author if you’re searching for a book specifically).  The search results will display your item along with one or more links to publisher or vendor websites where it’s available. For journals, a date range next to the link shows the years of publication to which we have access. Your article isn’t within that date range? Look to the buttons on the right of each result – specifically the one labeled “Search for journal in paper.” Like the title says, the List of Online Journals only contains those journals (and books) to which we have web access so this button provides a quick link to search the library catalog for a print copy.

The List of Online Journals can also be used to browse for journals in your subject area. In the search results, each journal has a subject listed. Click this and your search will update to a list of all the journals with that subject. Without going into too much librarian terminology, the subjects used here are different from the one in the library catalog so browsing in both places could provide you with more journals to peruse.

Happy searching!


(Other People’s) Dissertations: A Great Research Tool

March 11, 2015

Students starting to work on literature reviews for their own dissertations regularly come to me asking for help in finding some other dissertations to read. Looking at other dissertations can help you get a sense of what approaches and topics are “hot” in your field, provide samples of how other scholars applied the methodologies or assessment tools you plan to use, and even point you in the direction of some of the scholarship that you don’t want to miss. (Remember, virtually all of those dissertations and doctoral projects include literature reviews too!)

There are several ways to find dissertations to help in your research. On simple way to look for Alliant dissertation is to search in the library catalog. Enter a search term (a topic, a methodology, even the author’s name) in the Encore search box on the homepage and then use the Facets (or Limiters) on the left-hand side of the results page to narrow down to Format: Thesis. Many of these can be viewed online, others can be requested and sent to your home campus library for checkout.

Another option for Alliant scholarship? Click on Alliant Theses/Dissertations from the library homepage. This allows you to search by committee member, methodology, or even the statistical analyses or assessment tools used. Just like in the above option, many dissertations are available online, and others can be requested and sent to your campus.

Want more? Don’t forget about ProQuest’s Dissertations and Theses database in our list of databases. Here you can find tens of thousands of dissertations and theses, virtually every one published in the United States since 1997 plus many older and some international ones. You can search by keyword just as you would in article databases, or narrow down by institution, subject, and more. For more search tips, check out our guide.

Dissertation writers regularly report back that looking at other dissertations kickstarted their research, or helped when they hit a dead-end. You may have similar luck!

(And of course, once you get going on your own dissertation, check out our Dissertation Clearance guide for formatting and clearance info.)


I-Merit Discussion Groups

March 2, 2015

The I-Merit groups at each campus offer a variety of activities, informative panels, even food fairs! The Sacramento campus will add to this list informal discussion groups.  I-Merit welcomes suggestions for discussion group topics, as well as volunteers to lead these discussion groups. We have a few slated for this semester, but please join us every other Tuesday in room 9 from 1-2 pm, or contact Dr. Hsieh ( with any questions or ideas. Here’s what we have scheduled so far:

WEDNESDAY 3/18 1-2 pm:  Ferguson

WEDNESDAY 4/1 1-2 pm:  ISIS

***WEDNESDAY 4/15 5-7 pm: Panel- Serving Veterans, Law Enforcement, Military, and their families.

WEDNESDAY 4/22 1-2 pm: Follow up discussion about the Panel

WEDNESDAY 4/29 1-2 pm: Social Media & Diversity 

***Also, please join us for a panel discussion featuring working clinicians who serve veterans, law enforcement, military and their families on WEDNESDAY 4/15 from 5-7 pm.  Contact Dr. Hsieh with any questions (

We hope to see you there and look forward to some lively discussions!


Videos: Alliant’s Moving Images

February 25, 2015

This week’s showing of the Academy Awards got me thinking about Alliant’s extensive video collection. In addition to a multitude of videos on psychology, there is a fine collection of DVDs and VHS tapes on such varied subjects as art, biography, business, education, history, language, life/health and physical sciences, along with some good old-fashioned entertainment and a dash of kid-friendly fare.

From the library’s homepage, you can find video titles in our catalog by going to “Research” and clicking Special Collections. From there, scroll to “Video and DVD Collection by campus” and choose either your home campus or All Locations (most videos can be requested and sent to your home campus).

In keeping with the Academy awards theme, we have a host of Oscar winning films, including: The Aviator (winner of five), Boys don’t Cry (Academy Award Best Actress, Hilary Swank), Brokeback Mountain (winner of three, including Best Director), Crash (Oscar, Best Picture), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon = Wo Hu Zang Long (four Oscars, including Best Foreign Language Film), Defending Our Lives (Short Documentary, 1993), The Killing Fields (three Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor, Haing S. Ngo), King Gimp (Best Documentary Short, 1999), The King’s Speech (several awards, including Best Picture and Actor, Colin Firth), Music by Prudence (Best Documentary, Short Subjects, 2010), and Trevor (Academy Award winner for Best Live Action Short, 1994).

Other award winning films that didn’t make the Oscar cut include: The Alejandro González Iñárritu directed movie, Amores Perros (BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language, 2002); the Peabody Award winning history of the representation of gay men and lesbians in motion pictures, The Celluloid Closet (1996); and the classic multiple point of view, Rashomon (Golden Lion Award, Venice Film Festival, 1951).

For popcorn fun, romance, adventure or guilty pleasure, there are several titles to choose from, including: The Brothers Grimm, The Da Vinci Code, Finding Neverland, House of Flying Daggers, The Hunger Games, The InternationalLike Water for Chocolate, Lost in Translation, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Must Love Dogs, Napoleon Dynamite, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Though if you absolutely, positively need to view a video right now, see our database list of streaming videos. The emphasis of these leans heavily toward psychology.

Finally, if mergers and acquisitions are your thing or if strategic planning really floats your boat, then you’ll need to head on over to Business Source Complete (EBSCO) for the Harvard Business Video Collection. Once you’re in the database look at the top center of the page and click “More” for a pull down menu. Click “Images/Business Videos.” On the new page, under “Limit your results” be sure to limit your search to “Business Videos” (uncheck “Image Quick View Collection”). Type in your search term and you’re on your way to viewing pleasure.


Dissertation clearance: Common mistakes

February 10, 2015

Back in December, Nicole wrote an excellent blog post about the new dissertation process. This past month, I reviewed a total of 24 dissertations and I thought that I’d share a few of the most commonly made mistakes that I’ve caught. I hope that this will help expedite your dissertation clearance process when you finally submit your dissertation!

  1. Page numbers. Be sure that you use Roman numerals (e.g. iii, v, xi, etc.) for things like your dedication page, abstract, and table of contents. Arabic numbers (e.g. 1, 3, 9, etc.) begin on the first page of the first chapter.
  2. Multiple citations in one set of parentheses should be placed in alphabetical order. Here’s an example: (Chow, 2014; Hughes, 2014; Sacks, 2015; Schiff, 2014; Schmidt, 2015)
  3. Tables should be listed within the body of your document. It should be placed right after the paragraph that first mentions the table.
  4. Appendices should be presented in the same order that they are mentioned in the text of the document. If you have Appendices A, B, and C, they all need to be mentioned in the main text of your document in alphabetical order. That is, you must refer to Appendix A before you can mention B and you must refer to Appendix B before you can mention Appendix C.
  5.  Reference list.  Be sure that all of your references are in alphabetical order.

If you need additional help, feel free to contact your campus dissertation clearance librarian:

  • Fresno: Louise Colbert-Mar (
  • Irvine: Erin Schmidt (
  • Los Angeles: Tiffany Chow (
  • Sacramento: Nicole Hughes (
  • San Diego: Scott Zimmer (
  • San Francisco: Joe Tally (

Happy writing!


Guides: One More Way to Download a Little Knowledge from Your Alliant Librarians

February 4, 2015

Have you ever noticed the User Guides link on the Library homepage, under Research? If you haven’t checked it out, you are missing out on a treasure trove of tips and tricks to make your library experience much richer. Today, I wanted to highlight a handful that can help whether you are just starting research for a quick term paper, or delving deep into your dissertation:

Organizing Your Research: Have you ever wanted a tool that would help you keep track of all the resources you’ve found, grouping them together by topic, and — most importantly — creating APA-style citations that will make your References page a snap? This guide covers EndNote, RefWorks, Mendeley, and Zotero, so you can find the tool(s) that are best for you.

Grants and RFPs offers a slew of ideas for finding grants and requests for proposals online, as well as resources for how to write successful (i.e. funded) proposals.

I Can PsycINFO (and so can you!): A ton of tips on using one of our most popular EBSCO databases, with the added bonus that most of these tips apply to any database search.

Boolean Operators: AND, OR, NOT. You know what those words mean, but do you know how to effectively use them to get your very best database search results?

Measures and Surveys and Scales, Oh My! Chances are good that you may take an assessment course during your time at Alliant, or you may need to find a scale/measure/survey/questionnaire as part of your research. This guide will help you locate the right assessment tool for you, from the Achievement Anxiety Test to the Young Adult Social Support Inventory, from the ABAS-II to the WMS-IV.

Are there other guides you’d like to see that are missing? Let us know!


Welcome back to all! (Plus a little on SGA and IMERIT)

January 26, 2015

The Alliant Library staff would like to welcome back students and faculty to the Spring 2015 semester! We hope everyone had a nice break and is recharged for a new set of classes. With a new start comes new opportunities to get involved; let your voice be heard! Each campus has different clubs and activities for students, here are two that are active at almost every campus:

SGA (Student Government Association):

SGA gives you a say in activity planning and much more at your home campus. Sacramento’s SGA has sponsored movie nights, new student mixers, and even a new play therapy collection in development for the Sacramento Library. Join the discussion to help better your home campus, as well as Alliant International University as a whole!

I-MERIT (Strengthening Multicultural Campus Atmosphere):

I-MERIT, like SGA, has a campus-specific and University-wide presence. Meet with your campus group to discuss activities like those going on at the Sacramento campus: Multicultural Pot-Luck and Food Fair, Current Events discussion groups, Focused panel discussions featuring experts on a variety of topics: serving LGBTQIA populations, Veterans and families, Law Enforcement and families, Nontraditional relationship family structure, and much more!

Start the Spring semester by having a say and bettering your university experience! We hope to see you there.