It’s Summertime!

Laughing Whitefish FallsOne week the weather goes from highs in the fifties, the next week into the eighties. It’s Michigan! For those seeking to escape from boredom, or wish to take a break from studies, there are plenty of activities in not so far away places.

Huron-Clinton Metroparks:
Thirteen parks in southeastern Michigan featuring all sorts of outdoor activities.
Farther afield, explore Michigan’s excellent state parks and campgrounds, but be advised, many require reservations for campsites.

For those looking for indoor activities, Michigan has many museums, large and small:

has an extensive list to choose from.


Gardner HouseGull Rock

In the Aftermath of Violence


At times events unfold that reveal the true nature of violence. Whether it be sanctioned and justified, or punished and condemned, few would argue that the aftermath is complex and full of emotion.

There is room for understanding realities vastly unfamiliar to our own, but it means that we will be uncomfortable. It means being forced out of our comfort zone and into the realms of the unfamiliar where it may seem as if there is little to go on, little to fall back on, little to hold on to to keep our bearings. It’s in this place of unfamiliarity, discomfort, and awkwardness that we must rely on and trust in the words, instincts, feelings, and intuitions of those that we may have felt, or assumed were “others”. We must trust in their experienced realities. We need to hear their hearts fully and empathize with them.

This is the context in which the documentary film P.S. I Can’t Breathe was created and the context in which it should be watched. Rather than seeing the death of Eric Garner as an isolated incident it should be viewed within the framework of longstanding tensions with the New York Police Department due to allegations of misconduct and brutality towards African-American communities. It’s an incident that highlights the stark divide between those who are oppressed by the various sociopolitical rules, regulations, and institutions that uphold white supremacy and those who benefit directly from the status quo.



Mental Measurements Yearbook and Tests in Print

MMY2Produced by the Buros Center for Testing, an independent non-profit organization within the University of Nebraska, the Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY) provides users with a comprehensive guide to testing instruments. The current edition, the 19th, contains a bibliography of 183 available tests and 350 critical test reviews. The MMY contains information essential for a complete evaluation of test products within such diverse areas as psychology, education, business, and leadership. All MMY entries contain descriptive information (e.g., test purpose, publisher, pricing), references and critical review(s) written by leading content area experts. The MMY does not contain the full-text of the tests but reviews of the tests only.

TIPAlso produced by the Buros Center, Tests in Print (TIP) serves as a comprehensive bibliography to all known commercially available tests and serves as an index to all editions of the MMY. TIP provides vital information to users including test purpose, test publisher, in-print status, price, test acronym, intended test population, administration times, publication date(s), and test author(s). TIP is a comprehensive volume describing every test that is currently available for purchase. Not all tests and measures are reviewed in MMY and there are somewhat firm requirements that tests must meet to be featured in MMY. Therefore, TIP is necessary to identify and locate tests which are available and in print, but not widely popular or used enough to be featured in MMY.

Why use MMY/TIP? Maybe you are beginning to think about your Masters thesis or dissertation and you want to know what tests are available. Maybe you need information on a particular test to fulfill the requirements of an assignment. Maybe you read a scholarly article that used a particular test and you want more information about it.

MMY with TIP is accessible at UDM through Ebsco. Subscribers are entitled access to the MMY content included in Volume 9, 1985, to     the current volume, volume 19 and the TIP content included in the current volume, Volume VIII. MMY volumes 1-8, 1938-1978, and TIP volumes I – VII are available in print at the McNichols Campus Library.
articles tab
To access MMY and TIP, go to the library portal page, Click on the third tab,  Article, Journals + Databases. Under Find databases by title, select the letter M. Scroll down until you see Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print (Ebsco) (about 2/3 of the way down the page). You may also access MMY/TIP through the Tests and Measures tab of the Psychology LibGuide. Once you have accessed the database, and begin your searches, note that you will be searching both MMY and TIP at the same time. You do not need to select one or the other.

BeckWhen you know the exact name of the test you are looking for, type in the name in the search box and select the field TI Test Name. Click on search. Here’s a tip: if you click on HTML Full Text, all you will get is a review (or reviews) of the test. If you click on the title of the test, you will get the review(s), and the test entry data that TIP provides (e.g., authorship, test category, pricing information, etc.) If you are not sure of the exact name of the test, but you know part of the name, type in what you know and select the TI Test Name field.

depressionMaybe you want to see what tests are available for a specific disorder. For example, depression. Type that into the search box and select the PU Purpose field.

Perhaps you don’t know the name of a specific test and you are not researching a particular disorder. Each test is classified into a searchable category. The categories are:

Adjustment/adaptive functioning
Alcohol and substance abuse
Behavior assessment
Business education and relationships
Criminal justice and forensic
Driving and safety
English and language
Family and relationships
Fine arts
Foreign languages
General miscellaneous
Health and physical education
Intelligence and general aptitude
Learning disabilities
Philosophy and religion
Record and report forms
Social studies
Socio-economic status
Speech and hearing
Test programs

So for example, if you want to see what tests are categorized under personality, type in personality and select SU Test Category as the search field.

There may be a number of reasons why you can’t find a particular test in MMY/TIP. To be included in the MMY, a test must be commercially available, be published in the English language, and be new or revised since it last appeared in the series. An older test, no longer in publication, may no longer be indexed in TIP.

Whether you are working on your Master’s or dissertation, fulfilling an assignment or just want to learn more about a particular test, MMY/TIP is the perfect resource.

As always, if you have any questions, contact a librarian.



Coffee may kill you. Or your dog. Or not.

coffee prohibitedGot your attention?

There’s no shortage of news about health and medicine.  Everyday there’s something online or on TV claiming that everyday activities or foods may be life saving or can do irreparable harm.   Often the words  “a new study has shown…” is featured in the story.

Your first thought is often “Huh?”  or something similar.

How to know what to believe?  What’s credible?  There’s a good bet that a website more known for celebrity gossip may not have peer reviewed medical information.

Health News Review provides info to the general public to  critically assess health & science claims.  To find out who’s behind this site check the about us link, a good idea for any website you’re not familiar with.  Check out the section Tips for Understanding studies.


Clinical researchers need to publish.  Press releases are sent out by medical journals and professional organizations hoping the mainstream media will pick up the story.  Often video is included with identification info deliberately vague so the local TV new can suggest the white-coated physician is at a hospital  “in your area”.   Websites  have unlimited space to fill  &  need to drive traffic to their pages  likely you’ll find something like this.


The public radio show On the Media recently devoted an entire program to  health news and what to be listen for. A check list from Health News Review lists Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: Health News edition.  Beware of the words “breakthrough” and “miracle”.  Studies on mice are not always applicable to humans.
The fake news HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver had a recent segment on Scientific Studies. 

And there’s Snopes the fact checking site that’s been around since 2005 and although it is supported by advertising now it’s a good place to check out news stories that are more urban legends. No, Nutella isn’t “toxic”;   another  word that is often used incorrectly in an alarmist way.

Science & medicine are important and so is the way they’re reported to the non-technical audience. Critical thinking is important in all media.

In Memory of Derick Nelson

dereckNormally, the Research Blog describes library resources that might be useful to students and faculty. However, today we are departing from that mission to recognize Betty Nelson’s son Derick who was killed one year ago today. Today’s blog is a reprise of a blog posted last summer.


It happens everyday. Everyday you watch the news and there is another story about a senseless shooting in some part of Detroit. If you pay any attention at all, it’s only to shrug and think to yourself what’s wrong with this city? Another anonymous casualty. But on May 9, 2015 a member of the library family, the UDM family, became the victim. Betty Nelson’s (Head of Circulation at the McNichols Campus Library) only child, Derick, was gunned down in the parking lot of his gated community apartment.

Derick6.1Derick earned his Bachelors in Computer and Information Systems and Masters in Information Assurance from UDM. He worked in the library during the years he was attending school here and was well known and well liked by many among the UDM community. Derick was a brilliant, creative and giving individual. He was the kind of person who would do anything for you. That may sound cliche, but in his case it was the truth.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose your only child so suddenly and so egregiously. There will be no peace for anyone who loved Derick until whomever took this amazing soul away from his family and friends is caught. At Derick’s funeral, Pastor Alphonso Coleman said, “We thank God for the justice while we wait for it to manifest”.

Derick’s story was featured on Fox News and WDIV. One year later, Derick’s killer has not been arrested. Crime Stoppers is looking for tips as to who might be responsible and offering a reward.

Here at UDM, thanks to the generosity of those who donated, a tree was planted in Derick’s honor and scholarships for three students within University College were provided in Derick’s name. In April, Betty, with other families who also lost loved ones to violence, participated in Crime Victim’s Awareness Week events sponsored by the Detroit Police Department.

derick1Knowing Derick’s penchant for computers and technology, Pastor Coleman said, “Derick downloaded something in all of us.” He certainly did and no bullet can change that.


CookeryI like to cook and eat.  To me, it’s one of life’s basic pleasures.  I gain a certain amount of satisfaction when I see my family and friends eating and enjoying something I’ve made.  There are health benefits to cooking as well.  CNN recently wrote about learning to cook and it’s health benefits.  I also enjoy the creative process of cooking and looking for new recipes to inspire me.  When I get stuck in a culinary rut, I like to browse the Gale Culinary Arts Collection: The Culinary Arts Collection includes 250 major cooking and nutrition magazines, including thousands of searchable recipes.  I can find creative and challenging recipes from cooking magazines like Saveur, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet. Or sometimes I just need a quick and easy recipe from a magazine like Good Housekeeping , O. The Oprah Magazine , or Real Simple.  Whatever your level of cookery skill, I hope you find something that inspires you to cook and that you’ll enjoy eating.

Systematic Reviews: not just for the health sciences

1024px-Generic_forest_plotWhat is a systematic review? Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (Oxford University) defines it as “the application of strategies that limit bias in the assembly, critical appraisal, and synthesis of all relevant studies on a specific topic. Systematic reviews focus on peer-reviewed publications about a specific health problem and use rigorous, standardized methods for selecting and assessing articles.”  But that’s just it… systematic reviews need not only be health related.


There are basically 5 steps in the process:

  • identify all relevant published and unpublished materials
  • select studies for potential inclusion
  • assess the quality of each study or report; exclude the poor quality studies
  • synthesize the findings from individual studies or reports
  • interpret the findings, present an unbiased summary of the findings, report any flaws in the evidence

How does a systematic review differ from a literature review? To start, a systematic review is conducted by a team; it helps to distribute the tremendous amount of work that goes into a systematic review, and it also helps to reduce selection bias. Secondly, a systematic review requires a thorough search in multiple sources looking for as much evidence on a topic that can be retrieved both published and unpublished; it helps to reduce publication bias. Typically a literature search does not include unpublished materials or an all-out resource search. Finally, the goal of a systematic review is to present the best available evidence on the topic/question of interest. A literature review aims to summarize a topic.

So what’s so great about a systematic review? The power of a systematic review lies in the synthesized evidence of a topic. For example, at one time it was common practice to place post-menopausal women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). As a result of a systematic review on the harm and benefits of HRT, researchers found that although HRT had its benefits, it also increased the incidence of stroke and the risk of venous clots and breast cancer. HRT is no longer administered routinely.

Systematic reviews do not need to be medicine, nursing, or dentistry based. A systemic review can be conducted with non-medical studies as well. The following are resources that can be used to search for systematic review examples:

Cochrane Library and PubMedHealth – for medicine, dentistry, nursing, addictions, psychology

CINAHL – nursing, allied health

Campbell Collaboration – crime and justice, education, international development, and social welfare

The following library resources, although healthcare related, are available for assisting in conducting a systematic review:

Boland, A., Cherry, M. G., & Dickson, R. (2014). Doing a systematic review : A student’s guide. London: SAGE. (Print Book)

Eden, J., & Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Standards for Systematic Reviews of Comparative Effectiveness Research. (2011). Finding what works in health care : Standards for systematic reviews. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press. (EBook)

Holly, C., Salmond, S. W., & Saimbert, M. (2012). Comprehensive systematic review for advanced nursing practice. New York: Springer Pub. (EBook)


Forest plot image by James Grellier (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

April is National Poetry Month

poetry month

Take a few moments this month to relax with some of your favorite poems, or to discover some new ones.  Stop by the UDM McNichols campus library to pick up volumes of recent Pulitzer prize winners including Gregory Pardlo’s Digest, Vijay Seshadri’s 3 Sections, and Tracy K. Smith’s Life on Mars.  For something closer to home, check out Roses and Revolutions, by Dudley Randall, who served as a poet-in-residence in 1969 at what was then the University of Detroit.

The library also offers online poetry, such as The New Anthology of American Poetry, or, if you are pressed for time, how about some online haiku?  You could also subscribe to the digital poem-a-day poetry series, or take a look at A Work Day in Hard Times, a blog by UDM’s own Fr. Staudenmaier, which includes daily poems and mic

Finally, if you would like to listen to local poets or work on or share your own poetry, make sure to visit the Grounds coffeehouse on campus on Sunday, April 17th from 3:00pm to 6:00pm for the Broadside Lotus Press Poets’ Theatre.  The afternoon will start with a poetry workshop, followed by an open mic session from 4:30-6:00.


Jill Spreitzer, Librarian




Library of Congress Classification OR How Many Catalogers Does It Take To Change A Light Bulb?

LCStuff happens, and then accumulates. Of course it’s important stuff that you’ll want to use again, else you wouldn’t keep it, right? As long as it’s just a little stuff you can let it lie around randomly and just remember where everything is. Of course, your mother or significant other or even a helpful friend may foul everything up by putting your stuff where it belongs, but otherwise the system works well enough.

But eventually there is just too much stuff to remember. Since you still can‘t buy a few extra gigabytes of gray matter, your brain eventually runs out of memory.  Then you have to listen to what everybody says and put your stuff where it belongs.

And how do you know where your stuff belongs? That’s classification.

fuzzimo-vinylrecordspictures-01There are many ways of classifying stuff. Say you have a music collection that’s getting out of hand. You may want to arrange it by artist, and keep Dusty Springfield next to Bruce Springsteen. Or you may want to arrange it by type of music, putting jazz in one corner of the room, country in another, garage bands in the garage, and classical music up in the attic. Either system is fine, as long as it serves the purpose of enabling you to find stuff effectively.

The University of Detroit Mercy Libraries use a classification system devised by the Library of Congress (LC).  It arranges stuff by subject, and uses a combination of letters and numbers to bring materials together in a logical sequence.

Each piece of stuff is given a Call Number, which is basically like a street address where the material lives on the shelf. All the stuff on a given subject lives on the same street, or else on the next block over. (In real life, this would be like having all movie Tarzans living at Hollywood & Vine.)

Here is a call number, based on the LC Classification System, for William James’ book, The Varieties of Religious Experience:

BR 110 .J3 1929

The first thing to remember is that the letters “BR” have no intrinsic or mnemonic meaning, but simply indicate an area within the system. Here’s a quick summary of what comes under the letter “B” in the LC system:

B-BD= Philosophy     BF= Psychology                     BH= Aesthetics          BJ= Ethics

BL-BP Religions (general, non-Christian)      BR-BX Christianity

Within each area, the subjects generally move from general to specific. BR indicates material relating to general aspects of Christianity. The second element, 110, has been assigned for the more specific subject, “Psychology of religious experience, conversion, etc.” Again, the number “110” has no special significance; it only serves to arrange material in the desired order.

The .J3, as you probably guessed, relates to the author’s last name “James”, and serves as sub-arrangement.  “1929” is the year of publication, important when there is more than one edition of the work.

To find material on the shelf using a call number go one element at a time. First find the “BR” section, then follow the numbers as they increase from 1 to 110, then look for the J’s. As you do this, you’ll discover the wonderful world of browsing.

Nobody wants to spend all day toiling over a hot electronic device searching for stuff in a catalog. A subject-based classification system allows you the opportunity to find related material on the shelf without having to search for it. For example, on the same block as the James book, you’ll find:

Psychology and mystical experience   BR 110 .H6

The logic of the spirit: human development in theological perspective           BR 110 .L615 1998

Religious pathology and Christian faith          BR 110 .L62

The complete LC Classification System is very complex and detailed, running into the tens of thousands of pages. You don’t need to understand the complexities to use it effectively, but there are a few questions that may pop up in future blogs. For instance, why put a book on psychology and religion in the religion section (BR) rather than the psychology section (BF)? Sort of like deciding in which room to put eclectic music.

But I will let you in on a dirty little secret: most catalogers don’t do a lot of classification from scratch.  It‘s simply too complicated and time-consuming to do everything. Instead, they use information supplied by the Library of Congress and other major cataloging agencies, adapting them to local conditions as necessary. If you’ve ever used the WorldCat database, that’s where most of our cataloging information comes from.

724px-Light_bulb_icon_tips_svgSo now you know how many catalogers it takes to change a light bulb. Only one. But they have to wait and see how LC did it.


David Moody, Associate Librarian

Grass-Roots Social Justice Organizations in Metropolitan Detroit: Part 2

grassroots-sliderIn my continued efforts to locate individuals and groups doing good work for Detroit and surrounding environs, I came upon these.  Please spread the word about them; and even consider joining one of them if you are so inclined.


People’s Potluck Detroit

A spinoff of Occupy Detroit, this group holds an educational potluck on the fourth Monday of most months (meaning the next one will likely be on March 28).  The February potluck was focused on the resistance to tar sands destruction; the January potluck, on the Homrich 9 and the Detroit Water Shutoffs.  If you want the chance to learn about current issues and maybe participate in activism, this is a great opportunity!

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative

urban farming

The “About” section of this organization’s Facebook page describes itself thus: “Using agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability, and community—while simultaneously reducing socioeconomic disparity—we hope to empower urban communities.”  Here are links to MUFI’s Facebook and main pages:

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ)

dwejThe “About” section of this group’s page states ” DWEJ is a Detroit-based non-profit organization dedicated to improving the environmental and economic health of our community.  Here are links to DWEJ’s Facebook and main pages:

Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

This organization, located in Michigan, is involved in environmental causes both in-state and beyond.  (While the Flint water crisis is looming large these days, indigenous peoples in other parts of the world have been going through similar conditions, and worse., for much longer.)

Food & Water Watch – Michigan

fwwAnother organization that is currently highlighting the Flint water crisis; but also keeps up-to-date on underwater oil pipelines in Michigan; the water rates in Detroit; and GMO labeling (among other things).


I’d love to hear about other local organizations and individuals who are doing creative and positive things for our community!  Please email me ( if you know of any; and you may see your contributions in a future blog!

Kris McLonis, Associate Librarian

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