The Introduction to Alaska Digital Resources: Opening Your Info Conduit program developed by members of AkASL and the Juneau chapter of AkLA to introduce you to the statewide electronic resources available through SLED and the Digital Pipeline.

This is your chance to Explore...Discover...Play!...and Learn about the statewide information and research tools and how they can be useful to you both personally and in your library or classroom.

To get started, see the lesson list on the right of this screen.

Need an an id/password for the Digital Pipeline? Call 1-800-440-2919.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lesson 5 : Oxford Reference Collection

Oxford Reference Online

The Oxford Reference Premium offers a huge range of fully-indexed, extensively linked, up to date, and cross-searchable dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press.

The Oxford Reference Collection can be searched as a whole, within each of the following categories, or within individual references.

Other features of Oxford Reference include an extensive help menu, new features, and a Fact of the Day service.

Discovery Exercises
  1. Go to the English Dictionaries and Thesauruses link and click on the Browse this subject link. This interesting search option lets you browse page by page through all of the dictionaries simultaneously. Go to the H's and find the entries for the term habeas corpus. How many dictionaries have entries for this word?
  2. Return to the English Dictionaries and Thesauruses link and click on Links for this subject. Examine the list of links. What is the purpose for these links? Go to the link for the Guide to Grammar and Writing. What popular song is used to illustrate nouns?
  3. One last look at English Dictionaries and Thesauruses. Click on the link to the Visual English Dictionary. Look up the word "boat." Click on the first link for examples of boats and ships. How many examples are given?
  4. From the Oxford Reference home page click the link for English Language Reference. How many titles are offered in this category?
  5. From the Oxford Reference home page click the link to the Bilingual Dictionaries. Choose one of the dictionary titles. Enter a word in the search box. List the options available to process the information on the results screen.
  6. From the Oxford Reference home page click the link to Quotations. Enter the word "abolish" in the search box. What is the quote from John Locke? Now click on the link to Browse this subject. Browse to the word "abolish." Follow the links for abolish and describe how these results differ from the general word search results.
  7. From the Oxford Reference home page click the link to Maps and Illustrations. Do a search for "Syria." What type of maps are available?
  8. From the Oxford Reference home page click the link to Encyclopedias. Do a search on Syria. Explore the links to the World Encyclopedia and A Guide to Countries of the World. Consider the difference between the two resources. According to the introduction for A Guide to Countries of the World, what is the purpose of this source?
  9. From the Oxford Reference home page click in the Quick Search Box. Search for the term "recycling." How many entries are in the results screen? Explore a few of the topics from the the Refine by Subject list.  When would this type of refinement be useful?
  10. Optional: Setup an Oxford Reference Online button or banner (such as one at top of lesson) on your school/library website. Oxford also has scripts for search boxes (see below) and subject or book homepages. See the Help and FAQ pages for scripts and directions. The main thing to know about setting up javascript widgets is that you need to be in the html view of the web editor you use.
    First, you find the javascript code for the widget you want to insert, and copy that code to the clipboard. Then, in your editor go to your edit html view, find the place where you want your widget, paste, save and view. Finding the right spot to paste the code can be tricky. You can always delete and try again till you get in the right spot. Try it on your blog!
Search Oxford Reference Online


  1. Oxford Reference Collections went through a redesign after these lessons were prepared. I made changes to exercise #9, so it works with the new navigation options. Please contact me if other corrections are needed.

  2. Finished! What a great collection of resources. Here's my post: http://reb-library.blogspot.com/2012/04/introduction-to-alaska-digital.html

  3. I've used the widget in several places since, but it doesn't always come out so pretty. Otherwise, it's a cool tool.
    Here's #5

  4. This was an enjoyable look at using resources new to me. See my blogspot for my feedback. I can see numerous uses for these great reference tools. I will put the widget on my iGoogle home page, as i have no library website. Thanks! Laurie

  5. It is very annoying that one can only put a widget where Blogger wants it, not into your writing on your blog.

    The reference tools at Oxford could be very useful, depending on what one was searching for. I didn't always have the kind of results I was expecting, like finding the answer, but at least I know these references exist.


    1. I understand totally. I found some of the results 'interesting,' but also found resources I didn't expect!

  6. Exercises posted at http://exploringakdigitalresources.blogspot.com/