Category Archives: Databases

General OneFile Database

Who They Are…

General OneFile is a part of the Gale Group and was formerly known as InfoTrac.  They provide full-text access to millions of articles on a wide range of topics such as computers, current events, literature and more.

What they offer…

General OneFile contains over a million articles published between 1980 and 2012.  Users can do a basic keyword search to find articles and can limit them to documents with full text, peer-reviewed publications or even articles with images.

They also offer the ability to do a subject guide search or publication search.  The advanced search offers many different options.  In addition to the options offered in the basic search there are a host of other options regarding document type.  You can exclude advertisements, appendix, cartoons, etc.

How to access it…

General OneFile is a pay for service and can be access through your public library or school library.

Evaluation…

The search interface of General OneFile is relatively straight forward and similar to most of the article research databases. Even the basic search then offers options to drill down to narrower results.  The wide range of topics covered makes this a nice research resource for high school students.

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NoveList

Who They Are…

NoveList is another resource offered by EBSCO and is geared towards helping readers find books they will love.

What they offer…

They have NoveList Plus which is targeted for all readers and NoveList K-8 Plus which focuses on children in the K-8th grade age group.  They offer read-alikes based on authors, book titles and series.  They also offer book discussion guides and thematic book lists.

How to access it…

EBSCOhost is a pay for service and can be access through your public library or school library.

Evaluation…

I focused on the NoveList Plus database to see what it offered for older teens.

The interface offers a wide variety of ways to search.  You can use the recommend reads lists by narrowing down results based on age group and genre and it will return a list of books that fall into the categories you selected.  It also lets you add books to your “Folder” which you can then go to and print, save or email yourself a copy of the list.

There is also a basic search option where you can enter in the name of a book you enjoyed such as The Hunger Games and it will return a list of nine suggested reads.  It also provides a reason of why the book was suggested as a read-alike to see if it would suit the patrons tastes.  I found the quality of the results varied and it depends on what your personal criteria are for how useful the results are.  Some of the suggested books fit the genre such as suggesting Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare as a read-alike for The Girl in the Steel Corset but then there were other suggestions such as Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot which is an Avon True Romance book that was suggested merely because they both take place in 19th century England and contain romance.  I also wish that it provided more than nine suggestions.

Overall the service is easy to use and is helpful if you are trying to find books that fall into a particular genre or new authors to try out.

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EBSCOhost

Who They Are…

EBSCOhost is a service that provides access to online databases to schools, public libraries and other institutions to use for research purposes.  According to the EBSCO web site they have more than 375 full-text and secondary research databases and over 300,000 ebooks and audiobooks available.

What they offer…

They offer a number of packages for different institutions.  The public library resources appear geared towards teenagers and older with topics such as American Government, American History, Religion, World History and more.

The eBook selection can vary depending on what packages a library chooses.  They have General Reference Packages, Children and Young Adult collections, Popular Genre audiobooks and audiobooks for children and young adults.

How to access it…

EBSCOhost is a pay for service and can be access through your public library or school library.  The list of available resources will vary depending on the packages the library ordered.

Evaluation…

I have used EBSCOhost often during research projects and have accessed it through both the San Jose State University Library and the Alameda County Library websites.  The public library search interface is geared more towards the general public and opens in the basic search interface though if you switch to the Advanced search it matches the search interface of the SJSU library.  While some cosmetic aspects can be modified for the most part the interface is the same across institutions which makes it easier for patrons to use the service.

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