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Lets students creatively express their opinions on over 100 leading issues

"School libraries are looking for ways to make their resources relevant in a Google and Wikipedia era; and schools overall are looking for ways to build meaningful 21st century skills activities for students," said Barb Beach, vice president of publishing.  "This contest is an engaging way to get students involved in critical thinking, reasoned opinion, and debate using the creative format of video podcasting." 

The SIRS Student Video Podcast Contest supports typical research and classroom topics done in subject areas such as current events, world affairs, government, civics, debate, journalism, media studies, and more using a popular new medium.  Additionally, it offers a great opportunity to connect students with the issues being discussed throughout the country as part of the 2008 election process; and, provides a meaningful creative framework for those discussions.  

Entry is open to any student or group of students (up to five) who have an adult sponsor. Students must use SIRS Researcher to inform their opinions and must select a topic from the SIRS Leading Issues list. Entries may be submitted in up to two categories: a persuasive and/or an informative podcast. Free 60-day no obligation trials of SIRS Researcher are available at  Complete contest details are available at:

Finalists will be displayed on between April 21 and April 30, 2008. First, Second, and Third Place winners will be selected from finalists in each category. The contest winners will be announced on the ProQuest website on April 25, 2008. 

SIRS Researcher covers thousands of current and enduring issues, with a special Leading Issues feature that places additional emphasis on the most-researched issues. Leading Issues not only provides the context necessary to understand an issue's origins and key points of contention, but also current articles that follow recent analysis and debate.

SIRS Researcher is the only database to provide such 'actively managed' current content.  SIRS editors keep a close watch on search trends and daily events to ensure the latest coverage of today's major social issues.  New Leading Issues added based on recent events include: Election 2008, Iraq War, Identify Theft, Religious Fundamentalism, Plastic Surgery, Property Rights, Human Trafficking and Genocide.

For each Leading Issue, interactive graphics, Web sites, background overviews, timelines, PDF research guides and graphic organizers support media literacy standards and ensure students think critically when developing and organizing research, presentation and debate materials.


About ProQuest
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as Chadwyck-Healey™, UMI®, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich's™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience.

More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.

For more information, visit or the ProQuest parent company website,

19 February 2008

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