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Federal Data and Participatory Democracy:

"The purpose of is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. enables the public to participate in government by providing downloadable Federal datasets to build applications, conduct analyses, and perform research." offers access to a large and ever-growing compilation of data sets, tool, and more. The site is divided into:

raw data gif"Raw" Data Catalog, where you can search for data by keyword, file type, federal agency, or category.

Tool Catalog, containing "simple, application-driven access to Federal data with data tools gifhyperlinks. This catalog features widgets, data mining and extraction tools,
applications, and other services"

Geodata Catalog, with links to download geospatial datasets and a metadata page with details on the datasets, as well as links to more detailed Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata information. 

geodata gof

Folks are taking these data and creating all kinds of mashups and other tools. Check out apps like Local Recovery (how much Recovery Funding has gone out in your current location), Superfund Finder (discover more about the nationwide distribution of Superfund sites as well as sites near you, or Geodata Explorer (get a true sense of the economic situation at the city or block level).

Aug 24, 2009 | Categories: New Resources | msholinb

UC-eLinks and Google Scholar: The sum is greater than the parts

Did you know you can set up Google Scholar to ...

... export citations directly to EndNote or RefWorks?

... link to UC-eLinks, so you can find the article, book, etc. online or in the Melvyl catalog?

Both are true and take only a couple of minutes to set up!

  1. In Google Scholar, click Scholar Preferences
  2. Scroll down to Library Links
  3. Type "berkeley" in the box
  4. Check all the boxes that refer to UC Berkeley
  5. Scroll down a bit more to Bibliography Manager
  6. Click the radio button for Show links to import citations into
  7. Select EndNote or RefWorks
  8. Click Save Preferences

Now after you perform a search, there will be an Import into EndNote [or RefWorks] link below each search result and a UC-eLinks link and icon below or to the right of each search result.

google scholar uc-elinks image

Detailed instructions with lots of nice screen shots are available on the library web.

Aug 04, 2009 | Categories: Tips and Updates | msholinb

OskiCat import filter for EndNote available

An OskiCat import filter is available for EndNote users. Download the new filter from the EndNote website, under the name "University of California-Berkeley Library Catalog".

endnote gifA connection filter that allows you to search OskiCat from within EndNote is not currently available but is in the works. Check back soon - we will be posting more information when it is ready!

Aug 04, 2009 | Categories: New Resources, Tips and Updates | msholinb

VPN Users: New VPN software must be installed by Aug 12

UC Berkeley is changing its VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. Current VPN users should download and install the new VPN client software by August 12. The new VPN client, called AnyConnect, includes a "Library VPN" option. As before, you need to run the VPN software before accessing licensed library resources, and turn it off when your session is over. For details and installation instructions, see the UCB library VPN page. Even more details are available from Campus IS&T.

If you are using the VPN just to access SciFinder, you might want to try the web version of SciFinder that is accessible through the library proxy server. In order to use the web version, you must both register and configure your web browser to access the library proxy server.

Jul 17, 2009 | Categories: Tips and Updates | msholinb

What works?

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) identifies what works best for whom under what circumstances. Congress, in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, tasked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to recommend national priorities for research questions to be addressed by report cover CER and supported by ARRA funds. In its 2009 report, Initial National Priorities for Comparative Effectiveness Research, the authoring committee establishes a working definition of CER, develops a priority list of research topics to be undertaken with ARRA
funding using broad stakeholder input, and identifies the necessary requirements to support a robust and sustainable CER enterprise. The full list of priorities and recommendations can be found online and include many preventive measures:

Compare the effectiveness of primary prevention methods, such as exercise and balance training, versus clinical treatments in preventing falls in older adults at varying degrees of risk.

Compare the effectiveness of school-based interventions involving meal programs, vending machines, and physical education, at different levels of intensity, in preventing and treating overweight and obesity in children and adolescents.

Compare the effectiveness of interventions (e.g., community-based multi-level interventions, simple health education, usual care) to reduce health disparities in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, musculoskeletal diseases, and birth outcomes.


Jul 10, 2009 | Categories: News, New Resources | msholinb

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