Database of the Week: Political Risk Yearbook

Each week we will highlight one of the many databases we have here at the Pomerantz Business Library.

The database: Political Risk Yearbookpolitical_Risk_YEarbook

Where to find it: You can find it here, and under P in the databases A-Z list.

Political Risk Yearbook includes all 100 of Political Risk Services‘ Country Reports. Published annually in January, every report in the Yearbook is updated each year to include the latest report for each country, as of December of the previous year. This set includes eight regional volumes, covering countries around the world.

Use it to find:

  • Country Reports for 100 different countries
  • Reports include:
    • Country Update
    • Country Forecast: Map, Highlights, Current Data, Comment & Analysis, Forecast Scenarios, Political Framework
    • Country Conditions: Climate for Investment & Trade, Background (Geography, Social Conditions, Government)

Tips for searching:

  • Search by Country (drop down menu)
  • Use the table of contents to navigate the report


Want help using the Political Risk Yearbook? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.

Free Movie: CinemAbility

The Universtiy of Iowa Libraries is proud to present a screening of the documentary CinemAbility on Thursday, November 12 at 6:30pm in Shambaugh Auditorium.

From the early days of silent films to present day, from Chaplin to X-Men, disability portrayals are ever changing. This dynamic documentary takes a detailed look at the evolution of “disability” in entertainment by going behind the scenes to interview Filmmakers, Studio Executives, Film Historians, and Celebrities, and by utilizing vivid clips from Hollywood’s most beloved motion pictures and television programs to focus attention on the powerful impact that the media can have on society.

Do disability portrayals in the media impact society or does the media simply reflect our ever-changing attitudes? Has the media has had a hand in transforming the societal inclusion of people with disabilities? CinemAbility shows how an enlightened understanding of disability can have a positive impact on the world.

Featuring Academy Award Winners Ben Affleck, Jamie Foxx, Marlee Matin, Helen Hunt, Gina Davis, and narrated by Jane Seymour.

The movie is 1 hour and 40 minutes.

This screening will include open captioning and audio description. Please note that the audio description will be audible to the entire audience.  

Discussion in Progress: About Military Life

“Discussions in Progress: About Military Life” is a four-day event series offered by Military & Veteran Student Services in the Center for Diversity & Enrichment and the UI Libraries. Event will be held Monday, Nov 9-Thursday, Nov 12 in the Main Library Learning Commons. 

This four-day event series is designed to:

  • teach students how to engage in civil discourse about controversial issues.
  • debunk common stereotypes of military life and wartime experiences.
  • use the popular video game “Call of Duty” as an entry point to discuss specific issues such as violence in media, stereotypes in gaming, the effect of life-like graphics on game content, and video games’ effect on the brain.
  • honor our veterans on Veteran’s Day by encouraging all students to engage in discussions with veterans, get to know them, learn about their experiences and travels, discover how veterans’ perspectives enrich our campus, and create a sense of campus community that includes our UI student veterans.

Each day will begin with a Call of Duty tournament from 11:30 am until 2:30 pm in Group Room 1103/1105, with opportunities to engage in conversation with UI student veterans during the tournament. 

Immediately following at 2:30 will be a discussion on various themes related to video games. Discussions will be in Group Area E.

Monday: “Gamer to Gamer”  As gamers with different life experiences, a veteran (Ben Rothman) and a non-veteran (Kaitlin Jones) will lead a conversation about varying perspectives on the video game “Call of Duty.”

Tuesday: “Video Games & Art” Matt Butler, UI Libraries Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, will talk about video games as art, tracing how advances in technology have enhanced the realistic look and feel of the gaming environment. Has visual realism prompted game developers to make controversial narrative choices?

Wednesday: “Video Games & the Brain” Michael Hall, UI faculty in psychology and neuroscience, will talk about research on video games and the brain, including areas of the brain activated by gaming, gaming’s effect on the brain’s pleasure centers, early data on whether gaming can be neuroprotective, and what too much gaming can do to the brain.

Thursday: “Stereotypes & Video Games” Hannah Scates Kettler, UI Libraries Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, will talk about stereotypes and gaming. Arguably more than any other media, video games challenge/re-inscribe our notions about identity. Who gets to participate in gaming? What roles are gamers encouraged to adopt? Do video games promote more fiction than reality regarding military service?

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Brittney Thomas in advance at 319-384-2439.

November Notes from the John Martin Rare Book Room @Hardin Library | Sir Thomas Browne

Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)

Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)

Sir THOMAS BROWNE (1605-1682). A true and full coppy of that which was most imperfectly and Surreptitiously printed before under the name of Religio Medici. [London]: Printed for Andrew Crooke, 1643.

Browne was not only a noted physician, but one of the great English writers and philosophers of the Seventeenth Century. His works deal more with moral and philosophical issues than medicine, as in this, his masterpiece and most popular work.

Browne sets forth his personal religious philosophy and the tenets by which he lived. Browne’s simple and concise essays were widely read, commented upon, and criticized. His book deeply influenced many individuals and retains its appeal even today after three centuries.

Many authors exploited the title for their own books because this book was so widely admired.

This first authorized edition contains the curious allegorical engraving by William Marshall which depicts a man falling headfirst into the sea from the rock of faith. A hand emerging from nearby clouds catches him by the arm and saves him from the sea. Marshall’s engraving was taken from the unauthorized 1642 edition.

You may view this work in the John Martin Rare Book Room, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences. Make a gift to the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences by donating online or setting up a recurring gift with The University of Iowa Foundation.

engraving by William Marsh

engraving by William Marsh

DIY Natural History


Together with the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, the UI Libraries launched a new DIY History collection, the Egg Cards, a little over a month ago.  These field note cards were collected by amateur ornithologists during the late 1800s/early 1900s in Iowa and elsewhere, for the purposes of identifying egg specimens in nests.  Being handwritten, these cards haven’t been searchable, but with the power of crowdsourced transcription, will become a searchable database to accompany the museum’s collection of bird eggs.

EggCards transcription form

EggCards transcription form

This represents the first “natural science” project in the DIY History program, following the success of citizen science initiatives such as Zooniverse’s Galaxy Zoo and the Smithsonian’s Bumblebee Project.  Participation in the Egg Cards bounced with the release of an IowaNow article, and the 1900 cards are nearing halfway completion.  Join the fun – while you still can!

Update to Use of Digitized Theses

Iowa Research Online

Last year, we looked at use of our digitized theses. We decided that a bit more than a year had passed so it was time to look at these items again.

The collection has grown modestly to 258 theses and dissertations. These PDFs have been downloaded almost 55,000 times total (an average of 213.2 times each), from 12 November 2009 (when we first posted a digitized thesis) to 31 October 2015. On average, each digitized thesis is downloaded once every four days, an increase from last year. Our digitized theses date from 1886–2008, with the vast majority dating from 1912–1921.

5,820 Downloads since August 01, 2011Each thesis or dissertation that has been downloaded at least ten times shows a count of downloads on the individual page in Iowa Research Online (IRO). This download count appears in all our collections in IRO.

The following items, from a variety of disciplines, have been downloaded more than 1000 times each. These high use items are by graduates from as early as 1913 and to as recently as 2008.

Graduation Year Title Author Degree Use/Day Total Downloads
 1961 The Production book of “The Diary of Anne Frank” Allan Kurtz Longacre II Master of Arts, Speech and Dramatic Arts 3.73 5,794
2008 Teacher-initiated talk and student oral discourse in a second language literature classroom : a sociocultural analysis Joshua J. Thoms Doctor of Philosophy, Second Language Acquisition 5.39 4,387
1949 A formal analysis of Hawthorne’s The Blithedale romance Lewis Dwight Levang Master of Arts, English 3.24 2,099
1931 The catenary J. P. Kacmarynski Master of Science, Mathematics 1.72 2,068
1999 Development of a method for the simultaneous detection of mycotoxins in corn using supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and electrospray-atmospheric pressure ionization/mass spectrometry (ES-API/MS) for extraction, separation, and identification Jenelle Daria Brown Master of Science, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health 1.44 1,791
1956 Athanasius Kircher, Musurgia Universalis (Rome, 1650) : the section on musical instruments Frederick Baron Crane Master of Arts, Music 3.14 1,628
1914 Morphology of Cannabis sativa L Joyce Reed Master of Science 1.81 1,203
1955 Construction and application of a mechanical differential analyzer Joseph Emil Kasper Master of Science, Physics 1.08 1,190
1913 Ore deposits produced by magmatic segregation, with special reference to the nickel ores of the Sudbury district, Ontario Stuart St.Clair Master of Science, Geology 1.24 1,113
1937 A study of the origin and development of the educational excursion and field trip Harriet A. Woods Master of Arts, Education 1.58 1,113

If you are interested in having your thesis digitized and added to our open access collection, please let us know by submitting this permission form (PDF).

Whitman, Iowa Review and Dada in Romania

Open Access logo

Walt Whitman Quarterly ReviewOne of the things we do in the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio is support locally published journals. The journals which we publish/host are part of Iowa Research Online. During Open Access Week in October, there were several noteworthy additions/changes.

Walt Whitman Quarterly Review became fully open access. We have published the journal in partnership with the Department of English since 2009. Until now, the current year was restricted to print subscribers. Effective with v.33 (2015), the journal is published online only and is freely accessible to everyone. The issue begins with a statement from the editor:

With this inaugural number in our new format, we take an exciting step toward realizing Whitman’s dream of creating a truly democratic literature. For democratic literature to function effectively, he knew, all citizens needed access. Now the contents of every issue of WWQR are available to everyone worldwide who has access to the Web. As access to the Web continues to grow, access to WWQR grows with it. Paid subscriptions to WWQR are now a thing of the past: everyone who wants to read what we publish is a subscriber, and your subscription is free.

Ed Folsom also wrote eloquently about the change in a recent blog post. We are so happy to have supported the journal through this transition of a print+online subscription journal to a fully open access title.

The Iowa Review

We are also very happy to have added back content of the Iowa Review. Adding this title to Iowa Research Online demonstrates our commitment to support creative works as well as research outputs of the university. The journal’s announcement follows:

The Iowa Review announces the launch of its free digital archive,, containing full text of virtually all the writing published in the magazine from its founding in 1970 through 2011. The archive comprises 130 issues of the magazine and 5,752 individual poems, essays, and stories, searchable by volume, author name, and title. The site also includes links to the most frequently downloaded pieces, as well as a world map displaying real-time readership.

Issues from the most recent three years continue to remain accessible only to subscribers, bookstore patrons, and those who order copies through the Iowa Review’s website, Excerpts of work from recent issues also appear at

The Iowa Review partnered with the University of Iowa Libraries’ Iowa Research Online service, which preserves and provides open access to the UI’s scholarly and creative work, and the digital library JSTOR, which creates a digital archive of the magazine’s back issues. UI digital scholarship librarian Wendy Robertson developed the site’s data infrastructure and user interface.

The Iowa Review is based in the Department of English, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Iowa. It publishes three print issues per year featuring poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and photography. Work from its pages is consistently selected to appear in such anthologies as Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories.

More information about The Iowa Review, including how to subscribe, purchase individual issues, or find the current issue in a bookstore, can be found at The archive can be accessed directly at

We are thrilled that everyone in the world will be able to read the fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and translations included in this well respected literary journal.


Finally, we also published a new issue of the journal Dada/Surrealism, with the theme “From Dada to Infra-noir: Dada, Surrealism, and Romania.” As the articles are being published incrementally, a few articles are not yet posted, making this a soft release. The issue is so large that there are almost two dozen articles already posted!  Dada/Surrealism was a print title from 1971–1990. In 2013, publication began again as an online only title. The journal is edited by Timothy Shipe, the Curator of the International Dada Archive.

Database of the Week: Country Watch

Each week we will highlight one of the many databases we have here at the Pomerantz Business Library.

The database: Country Watch: Website to the World Country_Watch

Where to find it: You can find it here, and under A in the databases A-Z list.

CountryWatch is an information provider for corporations, government agencies, universities, schools, libraries and individuals needing up-to-date news and information on each of the recognized countries of the world.
CountryWatch provides critical country-specific intelligence and data to over 4000 clients including public and private sector organizations with overseas operations and global interests. In addition, CountryWatch provides country information to large media audiences in various venues as part of its media strategy.

Use it to find:

  • CountryReviews – Country specific demographic, political, economic, business, cultural and environmental information
  • CountryWire – daily news coverage for every country
  • CountryData
  • CountryMaps – thematic maps and political/physical maps
  • CultureWatch – tailored to young students exploring the countries of the world and global events.
  • Political Intelligence Briefings – featured countries
  • Forecasts – Macroeconomic Forecasts for every country

Tips for searching:

  • Choose your focus, see above, and then choose a country.CountryWatch2

Want help using Country Watch? Contact Willow or Kim and set up an appointment.