Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One Database to Rule Them All! EBSCO Discovery Service

Did you know most of the information on the internet is locked up behind passwords and paywalls? You can find a lot online for free, but many magazines, books, journals, and other resources aren't accessible without a subscription. Not only that, but what you can access for free, such as Wikipedia, may not be the most reliable source of information.

Luckily, your library card gives you access to dozens of electronic databases, which offer thousands of newpaper and magazine articles, plus electronic reference books written by experts in their fields. The only problem is, we have so many databases, it's hard to know which one to use.

Now we have a solution. EBSCO Discovery Service, or EDS, lets you search almost all of our databases simultaneously. To get to EDS, go to our Databases by Name or Databases by Subject page and click on the link at the top.

Once you enter your search terms and hit "Search", you'll see a page that looks like this:

This is the Guest Access page, which just shows the title and format of your results. To see summaries and read the articles, click on "Login for full access" at the top of the page, and enter your library card number.

Here's the important thing about EDS: for many searches, you'll get thousands of results. It will help if you narrow things down using the "Refine Results" column on the left side of the page.

For example, if you're looking for information on Huey P. Long, you can type "Huey Long" into the search box. This gives a huge number of results. The first thing you can do to narrow your results down is click "Magazines", "Newspapers", etc., on the left side of the page (see picture).

You may also notice that some of your results aren't relevant. For example, some may be about the Huey P. Long bridge, not the man himself. You can fix this by clicking on "Subject" and checking the box that says "long, huey pierce, 1893-1935." This will narrow your results down to just the articles about him. You can also narrow your search by date range, publisher, database, and more. EDS gives you so many results, it's almost always best to narrow them down.

There's a huge amount of information our databases, and EBSCO Discovery Service helps you find it...without making you guess which database to look in. If you have any questions about using EDS, give the Reference Department a call at 876-5861, ex. 2. Happy searching!