By Claudia De Simone
New database in the Ryerson library will give students access to hundreds of reference journals and boost the library’s electronic holdings in an area it has made its cornerstone. The Canadians National Site Licensing Project will link Canada’s 64 Universities with seven new database, holding about 700 new journals. The official launch in Halifax was cancelled last Tuesday (and not rescheduled) because of the terrorist attack on the United States, but the database started becoming available in early last spring.
The cost of the $50-million project is shared between the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the universities and the federal government. Database names include: The Royal Society of Chemistry, American Press Ideal, American Mathematic Society and the Institute of Physics. “The objective of this initiative is to increase research capacity for the university,” said Zita Murphy, a Ryerson librarian who deals with electronic resources. Ryerson is notorious for the small number of books in its library. In the 1999 Maclean’s university rankings, Ryerson took the last place spot among “primarily undergraduate” schools for its library holdings – 77 books per student.
But the survey doesn’t count electronic holdings, the library has argued. Although many of the new online journals are geared toward university researchers, the database are helpful for undergraduates to get up-to-date information, said Murphy. Already, students are using the resources. Patty Mallozi, a fourth-year nutrition student, said she uses one of the new databases, Elsevier, to do her research and assignments.
Psychology professor and research Michelle Dionne also uses Elsevier. Like many other professors, Dionne tends to stick to journals that are well recognized. “Most journals that are catalogued at Ryerson are good,” Dionne said. But she and other faculty warn students to stick to material that has been reviewed by professionals and other experts.