Biological Research and the Library: A Collaboration in Online Research and Library Instruction. This essay is by Terri Pedersen Summey and it was published in the Fall 1997 issue of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.
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With more emphasis placed upon research in undergraduate biology courses offered at Emporia State University, students needed to use the library. Since the library canceled its subscription to Biological Abstracts in 1985, biology students rely upon subsidized online searches to obtain citations relevant to their research. To do their research, collaboration with librarians has become a necessity. Initially the mediated search service was only available to graduate students and faculty members associated with the Division of Biological Sciences. As time progressed and new faculty members joined the division, more emphasis was placed upon research in undergraduate courses as well. To accommodate these students with a limited online search budget and search staff, something needed to be done. The result was a collaboration between instructors in the Biology Division and the librarian in charge of the Library's Online Search Service. Through time this relationship has evolved as access to more electronic databases has been added to the library's resources. Currently, the students attend an instructional session on research strategy and an introduction to OCLC's FirstSearch Service. This article will explore the relationship formed and how the collaboration has evolved over the years. It will also outline the instruction session that is now being offered and discuss its effectiveness.