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Research Pro!

Have you ever wished you could search all the databases at once?
Well, you can!

If you've visited Ignacio's webpage lately, you might have noticed something called Research Pro. This is where you can search multiple databases at once.

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I did a search in all the databases for: film AND gender

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What do the results mean?


The first database to report back was America History and Life, so that's the results I view immediately.

As you can see, I got results from all the databases -- some more than others: 1627 hits in ATLA Religion, and 436 in OneFile.

Research Pro is most valuable in giving you an overview of the best places to search -- i.e. the places you will get the most results in the discipline you desire. If you find a particular database is providing rich information, you may want to exit Research Pro and enter that database to search it directly.

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WARNING: Sometimes your results will be skewed because of an overlap of terms. For example, the word "film" will bring up hits in various databases about movies; in scientific databases it will bring up hits about the film scientists use to view tiny organisms with microscopes.

Research Pro also has an advanced option search, which you can use to further define your search.

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Besides doing a keyword search, you can also search by title, author and subject. This is handy if a patron wants to find all the articles written by a certain person or if s/he can't remember where they found an article but has the title.

PLEASE NOTE:

1. Research Pro does not work in Safari (I know, totally lame)
2. If you select no group of databases to search from the advanced search screen, Research Pro defaults to a yucky group we're trying to eliminate -- this yucky group displays Google Image results first because Google is the fastest responding database. We don't want that there, so hopefully it will be removed soon.


Check it out and tell me how you can use this tool in your own research or helping patrons. Do you think it's cool? Or another pain in the butt?

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Oct. 28th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
Research Pro seems like it would be really helpful if you weren't sure which database to search in and just wanted to do a broad search of your topic to see which databases have the most of the topic you're searching. Seems like a good idea to me! That is lame that you can't use it in Safari though because this is the browser I always use.

--Eva
(Anonymous)
Oct. 29th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
Very very nifty. :)

-Kathleen
(Anonymous)
Oct. 29th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Yea, I agree with Eva.
It's helpful to get a broad search of topic and see which databases have the most info.

Fang-yu
(Anonymous)
Oct. 30th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
yea this is really cool, i think it can save a lot of time yet it can also be time consuming, one question though, why would we need to search the actual database if it would pop up in research pro? oh and i tried it on safari and it worked for me.
usfreference
Oct. 30th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
hi valeria,

i suggest exiting research pro and entering your preferred database for a few reasons:

1) more options to refine your search in the original database, such as limiting to peer reviewed, date, suggested subjects, and more
2) research pro's interface is OK but it's nothing special. on the other hand, proquest, for example, has a great interface and many of you are probably more familiar with how to navigate it

as for the safari thing, that's strange. were you using safari on a windows machine or an mac machine?
(Anonymous)
Oct. 30th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
Research pro seems like it will be a useful resource when looking for the database with the most results, I've had a hard time knowing which database to start with so this is the answer to my problems, fantastic!
-Katie Patterson
(Anonymous)
Oct. 30th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
cool, this should make research easier. -Jeremy
(Anonymous)
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
That's cool!

-Mekdi
(Anonymous)
Nov. 3rd, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
yes i was using a PC, the Ref desk actually.
-Valeria
(Anonymous)
Nov. 3rd, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
I still like the name Metafind more. It had a ring to it. Whatever the name, searching all the databases at once is awesome. I always use it when I've exhausted all of the normal databases and sometimes i find something in somewhere I didn't think of looking in.

-Mike
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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