Archiving the web

University of Toronto Libraries has been archiving web content in four areas through its relations with the Internet Archive and its service for capturing pages, Archive-It.

These are available at Archiving-It.

  • Canadian Government Information
  • Canadian Labour Unions
  • Canadian Political Parties and Political Interest Groups
  • University of Toronto Web Archives

The collections are searchable and one can refine by format.

To see the list of sites included, enter the collection and click on the collection name. There are excellent filters for narrowing the search: subject, creator, year, language.

University of Toronto - Archive - Canadian Government Information

University of Toronto – Archive – Canadian Government Information

Paperity for OA

Paperity is a new aggregator of Open Access (OA) Journals that aims at becoming a comprehensive index for OA in all research fields.

Paperity Hopes to Create a Comprehensive Index of Open Literature , By Nancy K Herther, Newsbreaks (Nov 25)

The database currently includes more than 350,000 open access (OA) articles from 2,200-plus scholarly journals that are categorized as either gold (journals that are completely OA cover to cover) or hybrid (subscription journals with some OA articles).

This is early – it would help to have the journals browsable by discipline and searchable by name.

Online reference tools

Anyone doing intensive research online can be more productive with these tools for managing references.

Make Research Easier With These Five Tools by Brandi Scardilli, Information Today (Oct 7)

Several popular tools provide platforms that store articles, features that generate bibliographies, and functionality that encourages collaboration on projects.

Review the features and functionality of Endnote, ProQuest Flow, and Mendeley.

JStor Daily – online magazine

JSTOR, an online for-fee archive of “academic journals, books and primary sources”, has announced the JSTOR Daily  of  featured articles from the collection. This is very eclectic – great way to add interest to the day.

JSTOR, Daily, Inside Higher Ed (Oct 1)

Wanting to make JSTOR’s content a little more digestible and to engage a different kind of audience, the library today is officially launching its new online magazine, JSTOR Daily. The slick-looking home page already features some 100 blog posts and original articles, most of which draw on and link to more expansive content already on JSTOR. Topics vary widely, from a note on the enduring relevance of Herman Melville, for example, to the economic history of tipping. The magazine intends to publish a several blog posts daily, plus at least one longer-form piece each Wednesday.

Google Scholar’s Size

Coming up with an estimate on how many documents are indexed in Google Scholar isn’t easy. One bibliometric team in Spain puts the size at 160 million +/- 10%.

Just how big is Google Scholar? Ummm by Jia You, Science Insider (Sept 30)

… “the researchers report in a study posted to the arXiv preprint server earlier this year and updated this month. The number: 160 million indexed documents (plus or minus 10%), including journal articles, books, case law, and patents.”

Guide to Eurostat

Excellent guide to obtaining international statistics on economic and social activity through Eurostat – describes types of reports, how to search, aspects of the databases.

Eurostat’s Statistical Treasure Trove By Anja Chemnitz Thygesen, Online Searcher (Sep/Oct 2014)

As an excellent entry point to data on European matters, Eurostat (epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu) contains an enormous amount of information and statistics from across the European Union membership countries, plus a few other nations. In this article I use the example of researching the elderly population in the EU to illustrate some of the highlights of the Eurostat pages.

Information Retrieval Techniques

It takes experience and discipline to be skilled researcher. Judith Tinnes, in this article on the art of searching for terrorism literature, presents a very thorough and clear description of the research process and types of online resource and provides sound advice on how to track down the best material. It is the best article I have ever read on information retrieval techniques: It instructs the reader in matters of approach and tools, and includes detail on techniques such as those of snowballing, citation searching, and citation analyses. You don’t need to be researching terrorism literature to benefit from this, but the topic does give it an extra frisson.


The Art of Searching: How to Find Terrorism Literature in the Digital Age
by Judith Tinnes, Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol 7, No 4 (2013)

This guide provides an overview of information retrieval techniques for locating high-quality literature on terrorism and counter-terrorism. Starting from general considerations on conducting a literature search – taking into account the specifics of terrorism studies – instructions are provided on how to find particular literature types by using different search methods and information retrieval systems, followed by information on how to refine a search by employing focused search strategies. The explanations are enriched with numerous links to recommendable resources. The included examples are focused on terrorism studies, but the general search mechanics can be applied to other research domains as well.

Reference Works Online

Reference sources have been moving to online for several years. This article in Online Searcher takes a good hard look at the pros and cons of online reference products. Ease of access has  greatly improved, but authority may not be clear and the online version of a reference work may not be complete.

The Ebb and Flow of Reference Products , By Denise Beaubien Bennett, Online Searcher (July / August 2014)

“Have reference sources eroded in quality in the online era? We’re all aware of the challenges facing us and our users in vetting (or not) the authority and credibility of free sources available online. But the quality of contemporary vetted sources is worth examining in its own right.”

Many excellent online reference works are commented upon in this article.

Riches in the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is best known for the Wayback Machine to archived web pages but it has much more – books, images, music, and specialized collections.

5 Types Of Free Content Riches You Can Dig Up At The Internet Archive by Jessica Coccimiglio, Make Use Of (Jul 16)

Canadians will be interested in the long list of texts and collections from Canadian schools and associations — Canadian Libraries