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Piping Up

SFU Library Feedback

Blog Archives

Digital Subscription to the London Review of Books

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Q. Could we get a digital subscription to the London Review of Books? I’d find this far more useful than the print subscription which is always late. Online provides back issues, search-ability, etc.

A.Thank you for your feedback. Earlier this year, the library had a trial of the London Review of Books online in the spring and unfortunately, the cost of the online was prohibitively expensive.

We currently pay about $250 for 3 copies (one for each campus library). The online version was quoted at $1280 USD/year – more than 5 times the cost of our existing subscriptions. Proposals for new subscriptions usually come to the liaison librarian (Sylvia Roberts) from the departmental library representative (Henry Daniel) because of the ongoing commitment of the library budget for that department.

Thank you for the feedback. Let us know if you have any further questions.


Interlibrary Loan service

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Q. I am a student at the University of Mons (Belgium) and I am looking for the following article: Jack L. A. (2000). Psychopathy, risk / need factoring, and psychiatric symptoms in high-risk youth: Relationship between variables and Their link to Recidivism. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Please can you send me or help me.

A. you could use the Interlibrary Loan service of the University of Mons Library to obtain materials held in other university libraries.

Best regards,
Don Taylor

Donald Taylor
Interim Head, Acquisitions and Serials
Ass’t Head Access Services and IR Coordinator
Simon Fraser University Library, Burnaby BC

Digital Collections Database

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Q. The Digital Collections database seems to be hung. I can’t access it, and I get an error message: “There was an error retrieving  the list of collections.” Any chance you can fix this?

A. I checked the web pages “Discover Digital Collections” at http://www.lib.sfu.ca/special-collections/digital-collections and its sister page at http://content.lib.sfu.ca/cdm/ and both seem accessible now although our IT technician reports that there were some problems with these collections earlier this afternoon. Please try again and let me know if you continue to encounter error messages. If you do, please send me the URL of the page that displays the error and we’ll look further.

Thank you,

Nina Saklikar, Web Experience Librarian
W.A.C. Bennett Library, Simon Fraser University

Problems with logging into Refworks

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

I am trying to login to Refworks and get a page that says it is now a service of the Ontario Scholars Portal. However, when I click on the provided link http://refworks.scholarsportal.info.proxy.lib.sfu.ca, nothing happens.

A. Thanks for reporting this problem. There seems to be an issue with the vendor’s side. We have contacted Scholars’ Portal to let them know and hopefully the issue will be resolved soon.


Yolanda Koscielski, MLIS
Liaison Librarian for Criminology, Engineering, and Computing Science

Services for Uploading Articles

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Q. Hi, I have a question about using the U.S. based service Dropbox.com for uploading articles to be shared with other SFU researchers. I have some concerns about this practice. Is this consistent with the terms of use for the electronic journals and SFU?


A. Hello,

Using Drop Box to share articles is likely to be considered a violation of the majority of our license terms.

Here is the relevant statement from the CRKN model license, which is the standard license for many of our electronic journals:


“Section 6. Prohibited Uses

6.1 Neither the Consortium nor Authorized Users nor Walk‐in Users may:

6.1.3 mount or distribute any part of the Licensed Material on any electronic network,
including without limitation the Internet and the World Wide Web without the prior
written consent of the Publisher or except pursuant to any separate agreement as the
Publisher and a Member may enter into.”

You may however (as indicated under Section 3. Usage Rights):

“3.2.4 Distribute single copies of individual articles or items of the Licensed Materials in print
or electronic form to other Authorized Users;” [emphasis added]

To share articles with other Authorized Users (current students, faculty or staff) at SFU, it would be better to provide a link to the article rather than making a copy of the material and posting it to a commercial website, even if it is a secure network.

Here are instructions on how to create stable links to electronic materials licensed by the library:


Irregardless of any specific license terms, making a digital copy of any copyrighted material, storing the copy and distributing it online, even via a secure network like WebCT, requires express permission from the copyright holder (usually the publisher and author).

I hope that this clarifies the terms of our licenses and use of copyrighted electronic materials.

Let me know if you require any further information.

Sandra Wong
Electronic Resources Librarian

Library Resources for Artificial Intelligence

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Q. i need some information about artificial intelligence??
i have to write a persuasive paper

can u also suggest me some books on the topic ?

A. Hi, Depending on the details of your assignment, and what class this is for, you may find one of our Research Guides to be useful. For instance we have put together the following guide for ENSC 105 students: http://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/subject-guides/engineering-science/ensc-105, which includes strategies for getting started as well as links to some helpful resources. The “Finding Background Information” section might be the best place to begin gathering information for your paper.

Searching for “artificial intelligence” using the Library Search tool (the default search at www.lib.sfu.ca) turns up some books which might be of interest, including one which is on reserve for CMPT 310 D100: Artificial intelligence : a modern approach / Stuart J. Russell and Peter Norvig (see http://troy.lib.sfu.ca/record=b5496001~S1a ). This search will also lead you to additional library guides (see the lower part of the right-hand column on the results page).

I hope that this will help to get you started. If you need more assistance, please feel free to phone or drop by any of our reference desks in person (http://www.lib.sfu.ca/my-library/services-for-you/reference), or email us using the form at http://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/ask-a-librarian with a little more information about the course and your assignment, and we’ll get back to you.

All the best,
Janis McKenzie
Head, Information and Instruction

Error with linking to electronic resources

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Q. I want to read a subject in “Autonomous intelligent vehicles [electronic resource] : theory, algorithms, and implementation / Hong Cheng.” but the online access link does not work. I was wondering if you can help me with this. It gives an error as below:

The DOI you requested –
cannot be found in the Handle System.

Here is the information:

Author: Cheng, Hong.
Title: Autonomous intelligent vehicles [electronic resource] : theory,
algorithms, and implementation / Hong Cheng.
Published: London ; New York : Springer, c2011.

A. Hello,

There appears to be something wrong with the DOI linking.

Try using this URL instead:


I will ask our cataloguing department to update the link in our records.

Thank you for letting us know about the broken link.

Sandra Wong, Electronic Resources Librarian.

Hoovers Database Subscription

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Q. Would it be possible for SFU to subscribe to Hoovers? Its an excellent business database that many of the other post secondary institutions subscribe to– it would be extremely helpful for my many research papers!

A. Thanks for the suggestion, Emily. Although we don’t currently subscribe to Hoover’s directly through the publisher, SFU researchers do have access to the in-depth Hoover’s reports via our LexisNexis subscription. We’ve set up a direct link to that part of LexisNexis to make things simpler: http://cufts2.lib.sfu.ca/CRDB/BVAS/resource/5731

We also have many other resources that provide profiles and financials that are either similar to Hoover’s or much more detailed. For instance, Datamonitor360 [http://cufts2.lib.sfu.ca/CRDB/BVAS/resource/11401] is great for company and industry reports and we provide several major financial data sources ranging from Bloomberg to ThomsonOne: http://cufts2.lib.sfu.ca/CRDB/BVAS/browse/facets/subject/635

I’d be happy to chat with you about other resources that might fit your needs.


Mark Bodnar
Business Librarian

Alumni Privileges

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Q. Hi, I would like to know, as a recent graduate and, now, alumni, for how long will I still have access to online journals and journal databases through my SFU account? Thanks.

A. Hello,

Officially your library privileges expire two weeks into the next semester. Your alumni library privileges will come into effect when Senate awards your degree/diploma.

A description of library services available to Alumni is listed here:


For the most part access to the electronic resources from off-campus is not available to alumni except for the following listed databases:


However, almost all of the electronic resources are available to you with Alumni status if you are physically in one of our campus libraries and using one of the library computers.

IT Services may have a slightly longer grace period before they disable your SFU Computing ID and password.

Thank you for your question. Please feel free to contact us again if you need more information.

Sandra Wong,
Electronic Resources Librarian

Broken Link in Database Record

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Q. Just a heads up, when I try to access the conference board of Canada via the SFU library I recieve this error message:

403 – Forbidden: Access is denied.
You do not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials that you supplied.

I don’t even get an opportunity to log in.

A. Thank you for reporting the broken link.

I have updated the access URL for the Conference Board of Canada record: http://cufts2.lib.sfu.ca/CRDB/BVAS/resource/5815

It now goes to a login page where you can create a “free e-library account.” Unfortunately, SFU Library does not have a subscription to this resource so your access may still be limited.

I’ve copied our librarian responsible for Public Policy (Andrea Cameron) who can provide more information or provide you with further assistance in obtaining a report or document from the Conference Board of Canada.

Thank you very much for letting us know about the broken link.

Sandra Wong, Electronic Resources Librarian.