Monday, February 6, 2012

Episode 2: The EBSCO Sphere

Greetings Space Cadets, for this leg of the journey we will be exploring the vast world of Magazines and Journals.   There is an unlimited amount of knowledge to be harvested.

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines
When conducting research, scholars often rely on articles from scholarly journals rather than popular magazines.  See the table below for a list of some differences that exist between these two types of resources.
CharacteristicsScholarly JournalPopular Magazine
AppearanceSober and serious
May contain graphs or charts
Will not find glossy pages or photographs
Attractive appearance
Heavily illustrated
Glossy paper

AudienceScholars and students General audience

AuthorsScholars in the field of study Reporters, usually not experts on the subject

DocumentationSources cited in footnotes and/or bibliography Sources not cited or cited informally

PurposeReport results of original research or experimentation Provide general information

Article Acceptance ProcedureMany scholarly journals are "refereed journals" - they undergo a process called "peer-review" where other scholars in the field examine the articles before being published. Written by hired reporters, edited by magazine editors, and published.

ExamplesAmerican Journal of Psychology
Journal of the American Medical Association 
American Quarterly
Psychology Today
National Geographic

The Difference Between the Three Choices in Our Database  
Academic Search Complete –  Provides a scholarly collection providing full text journal coverage for nearly all academic areas of study - including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, and ethnic studies, etc. Full text for nearly 4,600 scholarly publications.

EBSCOhost – Contains information on a broad range of subjects. Database designed specifically for a Public Library environment. Searchable full text for nearly 1,860 journals, including Consumer Reports and Business Week. EBSCOhost database by way of TexShare.

Tip:  At the bottom of the description of the databases there is a link that says “Title List” if you click on this link it will list all the different journals in that database.

MasterFile Premier - Designed specifically for the public library, it offers information on a broad variety of subjects, including general interest, multicultural, and business.  Use when you want to search for popular information.

Searching Tips and Tricks

How to search by publication within EBSCOhost
  1. Using Masterfile Premier, click the Publications button located just above the search dialog box.
  2. Browse to find out what years are covered and whether is full text for just citations
  3. Often, we might have longer coverage for just citations
Boolean Operators

And - combines search terms so that each search result contains all of the terms. For example, education and technology finds articles that contain both terms.

Or - combines search terms so that each search result contains at least one of the terms. For example, education or technology finds results that contain either term.

Not - excludes terms so that each search result does not contain any of the terms that follow it. For example, education not technology finds results that contain the term education but not the term technology


Limiters let you narrow the focus of your search so that the information retrieved from the databases you search is limited according to the values you select. You can use more than one limiter if more than one is available.

Common limiters that can appear in the Limit your results area include:
  • Full Text – Click to limit results to articles with full text. Where an article will appear in its entirety for the user, not just a summary or abstract.
  • Image Quick View – Click to limit results to articles that contain Image Quick View images available.
  • Cover Story – Click to limit results to articles that were featured as cover stories.
  • Local Titles – Click to limit results to articles available at your library.
  • Journal/Magazine – Enter a journal/magazine name in this field to limit results to articles only from that title.
  • Peer Reviewed – Limits search results to articles from peer-reviewed journals. Peer-reviewed journals are publications that include only those articles that have been reviewed and/or qualified by a selected panel of acknowledged experts in the field of study covered by the journal.
  • Date Published – Use this option to search for articles within a specified date range. Create a range by using the drop-down lists to specify the months of the range and enter the last four digits of the year in the entry fields to specify the years of the range.
  • Number of Pages – Enter a number in this field to limit results to a specific number of pages in length. Place the < (less than) or > (greater than) symbol before the number to search for articles with a specific page length range. For example: to search for articles that are greater than three pages in length, enter >3 in this field. You can also use a dash to enter a range of pages. For example, to find articles between five and ten pages long, enter 5 - 10.

Limiters do limit one another. If you select both Full Text and Cover Story limiters, the results that are retrieved include only Full Text items that are Cover Story items. The exception to this rule is the use of Full Text and Local Titles limiters. In this situation, use of these limiters produces a list of results that has Full Text or is part of a local collection.

(The use of limiters may also vary by database. For example, MEDLINE may handle limiters differently than e-psyche.)

To create a search using a limiter:
  1. In the Find field, enter your search terms.
  2. Select the limiters you want to use from the Limit Your Results section of the search screen.
  3. Click Search. The Result List appears.
Subject Browse

Academic Search Complete, click on Subject Terms on top of page.  Now you can search your subject.  Let’s do Vacuum cleaners.  You have three choices on how you want to view your results.  If you click on Relevancy Ranked it will search similar a key word search.
For more in depth information please see Margaret Davis’s handout on Harriet.
...3,2,1 On to the Quest!

Submit your answers to the questions below using the form on Harriet. A good practice is to first type your answers into a Word document. When you are finished, Copy/Paste  your answers into the form. This may save you from losing your work. Be sure to submit after you have entered all your answers into the form.

Guided search
If you are unable to view this presentation please go to
  1. For your first mission take this guided search, you must duplicate the search on your own to reach the correct answer.   From this selection which brand of Coffee maker is considered a CR Best Buy in both the A 8- to 14- CUP DRIP MODELS WITH CARAFES  and B 10- to 12- CUP     BREW-and-Dispense MODELS?  
  2. In Magazines and Journals databases using EBSCOhost.  Find and select Texas Reference Center then click continue. Do an image search and find a picture from a Galveston storm and copy and paste the permalink to the form.  The permalink is located on the right hand side under Tools.
  3. From the homepage using the database tab select Electronics Journal List.  Select “title contains all words” for your search.  Then select “languages and literatures” for your subject category.  Use the search Shakespeare.  How many records did you pull?
  4. In MasterFile Premier click on the publications tab.  Find Men’s Health how many issues were there in 1993?

If you have submitted all the correct answers to accomplish this mission, you will receive the EBSCO Sphere Space Vehicle to add to your command. This will let you dig through our cramped but coveted Cargo Hold for a chance at a great prize. Complete The Fleet by earning all ten vehicles, and you will also receive ten Intergalactic Training Credits. 

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