In 1975, the U.S. Census Bureau discovered that only two computers on earth can still read the 1960 census.Susan S. Lukesh, E-Mail and Potential Loss to Future Archives and Scholarship or The Dog that Didn't Bark in First Monday Vol. 4 No. 9 - September 6th. 1999
Much of the information that you will want can be found in scholarly journal articles. You can search for relevant journal articles in databases like Uncover, Current Contents and First Search.
Unfortunately, you can't search most of these from home. You may have to go to an RMIT computer, perhaps in a computer lab on an RMIT campus or in an RMIT library. But remember, RMIT has seven library locations, covering Brunswick, Bundoora, Carlton, the City and Fisherman's Bend. One of those might be more convenient to you.
And don't forget, you may wish to have interlibrary loan material faxed or posted directly to your home or work.
Every database has a different method for searching for information. Here are a few tips:
Uncover is a database of current article information taken from well over 17,000 multidisciplinary journals. Uncover contains brief descriptive information for over 7,000,000 articles which have appeared since Fall 1988.
Uncover Reveal is an automated alerting service that delivers the table of contents of your favorite periodicals directly to your e-mail box. The Reveal service also allows users to create search strategies for their favorite topics.Drawn from UnCover's promotional material.
Uncover Reveal will e-mail you an update on your search strategy every week. This is an invaluable service if you want to stay up to date. It might take a little while to get your search strategy right, but it is worth the effort.
Uncover Express is a service which will provide you with a fax or image of some articles on a fee for basis service. A quick check will show that it costs $US6- to have an article by John Jackson delivered to your computer. As it says on Uncover, "This article may be available in your library, at no cost to you."
FirstSearch gives you a lot of power when you search databases. For example, you can run several different searches and combine the results. You can e-mail the results of your search to yourself, so that you can use them later. You can automatically organize interlibrary loan if the article is not available locally. And, of course, you can pay a fee to have some articles faxed or displayed on your computer.
OCLC's FirstSearch® is an interactive online information system that gives you vital, timely information about books, journal articles, films, computer software, and other materials in your subject area. The FirstSearch service available on the World Wide Web is a product of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., a nonprofit membership organization serving libraries and educational institutions worldwide.
FirstSearch is very easy to use; no training is necessary. Just follow the instructions that appear on the screen.Drawn from the Wallace Library, Rochester Institute of Technology's help pages.