About Islamic Studies Library video tutorials

One of the main roles of today’s academic libraries, besides acquisition and classification of information materials, is facilitate access and -when necessary- provide guidance and training on how to access resources and information through a wide-range of digital tools and services or online platforms. 

It may appear that technological development and digital tools have broadened our access to information, but sometimes we need guidance on how to use these tools to be able to benefit most from them. In order to avoid any unnecessary complication in accessing resources, libraries usually help users by creating step-by-step guides on how to use these tools. In the event of the COVID-19 pandemic, most library services moved online, and so did library guides and tutorials. Over the Summer, the Islamic studies library team produced video tutorials on how to use three important library tools and services: the Hathi Trust Emergency temporary access (ETAS), the McGill Virtual Private Network (VPN), and Islamic Studies library Subject Guides.

In this blog post, we will briefly introduce these tutorials.

  1. How to use HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS)

Hathi Trust digital library is a partnership of academic and research libraries offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.” However, In response to this pandemic, this platform provided a new service in order to provide support for research, teaching and learning during the time of interrupted library services. As such,  Hathi Trust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS)  provide access to digital material that corresponds to physical material that is held by the libraries. So for McGill library material over two million books from library’s print collection made available online, which counts for over half of McGill’s print collection. This temporary service is only available to McGill students, staff and faculty.  

To learn how you can benefit the most from this service, and some tips on how to access the digital books, please watch the video:

  1.  How to use McGill VPN services

McGill Virtual Private Network or VPN is one of the services/methods that provides students, faculty and staff with remote access to Library e-materials. For example, they can access e-books, or e-journals, etc., while they are not on Campus.

Please note that only some of the Library’s e-resources requires VPN connection to grant you access, the rest of e-resources will simply ask you to login with you McGill credential and then you will have access to that e-material.

Whether you chose to or you were required to use VPN to access library’s e-resources, you need to install and configure VPN on your computer/device and set it up. In this video, we will show you how to do this, and where to find the help that might need.

3. How to use McGill Islamic Studies Subject Guides

In doing research we need various range of resources tailored to our very specific topic, more over we need different types of resources from primary resources to online or open access materials and print resources.

Subject guides are one of the useful services that are usually created by the specialized librarian and link you to various resource available in your topic. Islamic Studies Subject Guide is tailored to the courses offered by the McGill Institute of Islamic Studies and is consist of 11 guides related to Islamic studies topic such as Islamic history, Islamic languages: Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Urdu, Middle East history, Ottoman & Turkish studies, Islamic thought and science and etc,. Each Guide provides a list various relevant and current resources that are available at McGill library or elsewhere.

In the event of COVID-19 pandemic, Islamic Studies specialized librarian created a comprehensive list of relevant resources that are available online or can be accessed remotely.

In this video we will show you where to find these guides and how to use them.

Should you have any question about or need any help with one of these tools and services, make sure to contact us at either:  islmcirc.library@mcgill.ca or anais.salamon@mcgill.ca.

Credits:

Blog post editor: Anaïs Salamon, Head Librarian;

Videos credits: Islamic Studies Library team : Anaïs Salamon, Head Librarian; Dr. Charles D. Fletcher, Head Library Clerk; Samah Kasha Senior Library Assistance and Ghazaleh Ghanavizchian Senior Library Assistance

Resources @ MEI

The Middle East Institute (MEI) located in Washington, D.C. was founded in 1946 as a non-profit organization by George Camp Keiser a Middle East scholar. Aiming to promote and transmit knowledge of Middle East, MEI has been active in leading research as well as cultural, academic and educational activities, which all together led to the formation of various centres of Policy, Education and Art and Culture. In addition to its effort in producing and expanding knowledge about Middle East, MEI became an intellectual hub and gave platform to regional experts whose works provide a balance outlook and understanding of the region. Besides organizing conferences and educational programs such as training languages spoken in Middle East like Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Hebrew; it also provides access to many useful online resources and publications about Middle East, some of which will be mentioned briefly below.

Middle East Journal:

MEI publishes The Middle East Journal since 1947, this journal as one of the oldest peer-reviewed publication in studying Middle East provides original researches and source materials covering wide area from Morocco to Pakistan and Central Asia.

“The Journal provides the background necessary for an understanding and appreciation of the region’s political and economic development, cultural heritage, ethnic and religious diversity.”

Access this to journal from McGill library here.

 Digital collection:

MEI via its Oman Library digital collection provides access to hundreds of digitized rare books and manuscripts about/of Middle Eastern studies for researchers and scholars from around the world. This online collection holds materials covering wide range of topics from history, culture and literature available in various languages like English, French, Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Farsi, Ottoman Turkish and Turkish. This collection includes rare material from 1700 to 1920 as well as its own publications published by MEI from 1960 to 2004.

Arts & Culture Center:

Middle East Institute, besides organizing cultural events and exhibition through its Art and Culture Center, uses this platform to provide access to a hundreds of different types of online material from media release to podcast, journal article and news. This platform aims to create an environment that facilitates conversation, cross cultural understanding as well as to promote Middle Eastern artist works.

Digital collection @ National Library and Archive of Iran

National library and Archive of Iran (NLAI) is located in Tehran and was launched officially in 1937 but its collection dates back 150 years.

The present National Library of Iran houses many different collections from older libraries, including many rare and valuable manuscripts such as large numbers of manuscripts, old printed books, old itineraries from European tourists, documents, rare periodicals and materials in non-print forms.

The library is an educational, research, and service institution, aiming to acquire, organize and disseminate information published or produced in Iran or in the fields of Iranology and Islamic study in other countries. NLAI provides access to part of its massive collection through the Digital Collection, which consists of various collections of Manuscripts, lithograph, dissertations, newspapers, photographs, maps, documents and printed books.

Biblio Pera: the online union catalogue of international research centers in Turkey

Supported by Istanbul Development Agency (ISTKA), and developed by Koç University Suna Kiraç Library, BiblioPera is the online union catalogue of the Libraries of nine international Research Centers located in Beyoglu, Istanbul:

bibliopera-beyoglu-research-centers-networkNot only BiblioPera brings those multilingual collections together, but also, it aims at promoting historical, archaeological, and social scientific research on Turkey, and providing a unique virtual environment for scholars, research center staff, and librarians to share ideas, experiences, and collaborate on new projects, for scientific and cultural production.

BiblioPera allows to search more than 500,000 print materials, by title, author, subject, publisher, keyword and ISBN. Results can further be refined by library, language, and year of publication.

The website interface is available in Turkish and English.

How to finds thesis & dissertations?

Finding thesis and dissertations can be challenging. This post provides information on how to do so.

In addition to print copies available for consultation only at the Rare Books and Special Collections library, McGill thesis and dissertations are all accessible online via both:

Home Page - ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text - ProQuest

The ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Full Text database includes millions of citations to thesis and dissertations from all around the world (1861 to present), more than a million full text dissertations, and over 2.1 million titles available for purchase.

On the McGill Library website, you can find a guide on how to find thesis and dissertations by country:

Theses & dissertations McGill Library - McGill UniversityLast, the Directory of Open Access Repositories, an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories, maintains a list of OA repositories by country and organization which is incredibly handful to find full text thesis and dissertations from all over the world.

OpenDOAR - Open Access Countries and Organisations - africa

New Islamic & Middle East studies subject guides

Over the Summer (2016), the Islamic Studies Library is reviewing, and updating, all of the Islamic and Middle East studies subject guides, in the hope to have fully functional, relevant, and easy to navigate subject guides for the new academic year.

Digital collections - Middle East studies - Guides at McGill University

As part of this project, numerous new guides were developed and launched:

We would love if some of you were to get involved: have a look at the guides, and let us know what you think! We’ll be happy to hear any suggestions or comments you may have!

Tri-Agencies Open Access Policies

In recent news, the Canadian Tri-Agencies granting programs have introduced a new policy for researchers: Open Access. What does this mean for you? McGill Library has created a FAQ section to help with the details of the implementation and meaning of this change in policy. The policy, it should be noted is effective 15 May 2015. Below is the official announcement.

“On February 27, 2015, Canada’s three major research funding agencies – the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – announced a new harmonized “Open Access Policy on Publications” that requires research publications supported by public funds to be made openly available for the benefit of the community at large.”

The policy requires that “any peer-reviewed journal publications arising from Agency-supported research are freely accessible within 12 months of publication.” It applies to NSERC and SSHRC grants awarded May 1, 2015 and onward, and continues the pre-existing open access requirement for CIHR grants awarded January 1, 2008 and later. Researchers holding grants awarded before May 1, 2015 are also encouraged to follow the policy. NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR grant recipients must ensure that any peer-reviewed journal articles be freely accessible within 12 months of publication through one of the following options:

  1. Online Repositories: Grant recipients can deposit their final, peer-reviewed manuscript into an institutional or disciplinary repository that will make the manuscript freely accessible within 12 months of publication.
  2. Open Access (OA) Journals: Grant recipients can publish in an open access journal. For journals that use Article Processing Charges (APCs) as a means to fund open access, these APCs are allowable expenses for Tri-Agency grants.

Through services and resources like the eScholarship@McGill repository and research consultations, McGill Library & Archives will continue to support researchers as the open access movement evolves. For more information regarding the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy, compliance information, and how the Library & Archives can help to make your work open access please visit: https://www.mcgill.ca/library/services/open-access.

On McGill Library’s Open Access page. there is an array of further information for quick answers. Perhaps the most burning question for this new policy is: How to comply with the OA policy? In the section from the above link entitled “How to make your research open access” one particular paragraph will prove extremely useful:

“Standard publishing agreements for many journals already allow repository deposit of the publisher’s PDF or of the final manuscript after peer review. However, not all do. Carefully review your publishing agreement or learn about a given publisher’s standard policies in the SHERPA/RoMEO database to determine what rights you are signing over to the publisher and how these affect your ability to deposit your work in a repository. If you would like to deposit your published work in a disciplinary or institutional repository, and the standard agreement from your preferred publisher does not allow this, you can negotiate the details of your publishing agreement.”

For the fields of Islamic and Middle East Studies there are many different OA journals already available whose publishing agreements comply with this new Tri-agencies policy. One source, in particular for OA journals pertaining to Islamic and Middle East Studies is AMIR (Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources). It provides a complete list of all Open Access journals pertaining to these fields of inquiry.

Remember also to be aware of predatory OA journals. These journals can be quite convincing and aggressive in striving to obtain your manuscript. If you have any doubt, Jeffrey Beall of the University of Colorado maintains an impressive blog on known predatory journals. On the same blog, he also lists questionable publishers.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

NEW: Arabic literature subject guide

The Islamic Studies Library launched a new subject guide focusing on Classical and contemporary Arabic literature. This selection of sources comprises encyclopedias and dictionnaries, databases, journals (print and electronic), and internet sites.

Classical and contemporary Arabic literature  McGill Library - McGill UniversityThe Classical and contemporary Arabic literature subject guide can be accessed in two ways:

1. Via the Islamic Studies Library website
Islamic Studies Library  McGill Library - McGill University2. Via the list of subject guides (under Islamic and Middle East Studies)
Subject guides  McGill Library - McGill University

Check it out and let us know what you think!