By Robert Lisiecki
Before we get into Hiroshi and his needs, let’s define materials science. It’s an interdisciplinary field that deals with discovery and design of new materials. And, as a tenured professor, Hiroshi teaches, conducts original resource, and heads a lab with several graduate students working under him. He deals with both undergraduate and graduate students.
Let’s be clear, labs and experiments are a major focus for Hiroshi and his students. They need to do physical research through experimentation to make discoveries, engage in practical learning, and become immersed in materials science. This part of the job doesn’t necessarily require any kind of database help from the library.
That’s only one component of Hiroshi’s scholarly life, though. His students must also learn about the history of materials science, and he and his students need to keep up with the latest research and news regarding materials science. This aspect is where he really needs help.
Hiroshi’s schedule keeps him busy; so, while he could take the time to sift through magazines and browse for hardcover copies of books, he’d rather not have to. Furthermore, since he teaches students and works with others, it’s nearly impossible to have enough copies of a reading material for everyone. Certainly, he could make copies or print out excerpts, but that’s another lengthy process.
It’d be beneficial for Hiroshi and his class to have resources that offer information that’s wide spread and convenient.
Gale can help Hiroshi with this aspect of his teaching and research.
To ensure that both he and his students have the latest information, Hiroshi trusts Academic OneFile.
It comprehensively groups top journals and is updated consistently. Also, its online accessibility is appealing for him and his students.
For instance, he can do a publication search for “Materials Science” and find Material Science & Engineering A. The database has the journal’s entire run, from August 15, 1996 to present (currently it has the issue from November 3, 2014).
Academic OneFile allows all of students to read through the journal at one time without having to print out multiple copies.
Once they click on an issue, they can easily navigate to a particular article or even limit the results. It offers functionality that just isn’t possible with print material, which gives Hiroshi and his students an advantage over other academic students.
Another reason that Academic OneFile works for Hiroshi is the Topic Finder feature. Not all of his students are ready to do research on their own, and it’s a struggle for them to figure out specific research topics. Topic Finder is a useful tool for these particular students.
Typing in “Materials Science” prodcues a wheel that visually displays connections to topics that relate to materials science. The results help his students think about research topics in a different way.
Another resource that Hiroshi finds useful is GVRL. It allows him to have all of the books he needs on materials science in one conveniently located place.
Like Academic OneFile, it helps him and his students to quickly find the source material they needs, rather than sifting through shelves or particular books.
He can go straight to particular sections within a book or quickly browse through the entire book thanks to the navigation functionality in the table of contents.
While he and his students may like the convenience of quickly finding a book, some are hesitant about using eBooks because they like to mark up a work with highlights and notes.
Hiroshi can quickly assuage those students’ fears (and the librarian’s fears of ruined books!) with GVRL. Highlights and notes functionality allows his students to highlight as they read—with different color options to allow them to indicate different notes—and provide a note with the highlight. They can also grab the automated citation right away with a simple click of the button.
At the end of their session, his students can then either download or print their notes for later use.
And, if they’d still rather physically mark up the section, they have the option to print it out.
While initially Hiroshi might not seem like someone who would need resources, taking a closer look shows the versatility of his course. Gale won’t help him with all of his needs, but we can certainly help him and his students with their academic research.
Learn more about Hiroshi and the resources he uses, and come back next time to learn about another resident of Gale U.
Robert is a left-handed person living in a right-handed world. He is showing English majors that it is possible to get a job in the “real world” with an English degree. He likes giant carrots.