Category Archives: Databases

It’s time to buckle down and make progress on those research papers.

OneSearch, Los Rios Libraries

If you’re doing research, you’re probably spending some time in OneSearch, which is our main tool for finding books, articles and other library content.

So let’s cover a few tips here.

1. Understand how keywords work

Google makes us lazy; we can type any garbage we like into it and it seems to know more or less what we meant.

Google search for: where are tho hamtsers who eat tacos. Spelling corrected, includes relevant results about burritos

Library search tools are much more literal. All they do is match words. So, if you include a keyword and it’s not in the title or abstract or subjects—the item won’t show. That’s why:

 a search for methods of preventing domestic violence against women brings fewer than 40 results

Too many words! Plenty of articles on that subject don’t have some the words “method” or “against”, so they don’t show in results. Compare:

Query domestic violence prevention programs brings 4,000 results

Your keywords need to match content in the source, so start with just a few and add on!

2. Limit your results by format

By default, OneSearch will show you all different kinds of content. But what if you’re not interested in articles, and are only looking for books you can check out?

Don’t overwork your retina scanning the page. Instead, use the Books & Videos on Library Shelves limiter.

Books & Videos on Library Shelves limiter in OneSearch

Once you’ve done that, most of your results will be books. Were you told you need to find scholarly articles? You can limit to Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals. Check out the Source Types area for other options.

3. Email yourself ebook chapters

We have been plugging ebooks lately and for good reason—thousands of recently published academic titles are waiting for your attention.

Sometimes it’s not totally clear what to do with these, though. You can read them page by page online but that can be inconvenient. Sometimes the easiest thing is to email yourself a chapter. When you’re in the book, click Email Pages, then look for something labeled This section.

Email chapter of EBSCO ebook
There’s a limit to how many pages you can email yourself at a time, but usually a chapter or two is short enough. If you hit the limit, try later that day and you’ll find that the limit has been reset.

4. Save formatted citations

Is it fun making a Works Cited page? Maybe! But event then, you might want some help. When looking at an article, you’ll see a Cite link; click that and look what happens.

But wait, there’s more. If you’ve used EBSCO databases at all you probably have emailed yourself articles. Well take a look at the options on the email form and you’ll see that there’s something labeled Citation Format.

Email MLA citation in EBSCO record

What could it mean?

The citations aren’t always perfect, but they’re a good start. Remember, we’ve got citation tips over at our Research Guides page.

5. Don’t get frustrated by bad links

One of the things OneSearch does is bring together a bunch of different databases. So you’ll see links to JSTOR, ScienceDirect and others in your search results. Usually these links work, but sometimes…

404 page in ScienceDirect
Ask a Librarian - Live ChatDon’t despair! If a link appeared, usually it means that we do have the article, even if the link itself fails. So in that case you can click the Ask a Librarian icon and ask us to get you the article.

In general, use Ask A Librarian whenever you’re having problems—we’re here to help.

This semester we launched a new version of OneSearch, which provides access to our book & media collection and most of our research databases. I could tell you all about what it does and how to use it, but our friends at the Cosumnes River College Library made a video that does a much better job, in a very short amount of time, than I could hope to do. Enjoy! And tell your friendly librarians how you’re using it.

OneSearch logoOver the last few months, the library has been working on a new look and feel for OneSearch, the tool that provides access our books, videos, and a large chunk of our online databases. OneSearch has been very widely used at SCC for the last couple years; when you do a search from the library homepage using the “All” tab, that’s where you end up.

You can now preview the new version of OneSearch. When you do a search from the library home page, you’ll see a link asking if you want to go to the new version. Click it, and you’ll get there.

You’ll find several new features aimed at improving access to our locally held books & videos. Searching for textbooks on reserve? Click the “Find Textbooks on Reserve” link at the top of the screen to launch special search form similar to the one you find on the library website. Want to text a call number to yourself? From a book’s page, click the “Share” icon next to the call number and you’ll be able to do so.

We’ll be continuing to work on the new OneSearch through the summer. In the Fall semester, we’ll be sending the older library catalog (often known as “LOIS”) into semi-retirement. So let us know what you think of OneSearch! After you’ve used it for a little, you’ll get a survey prompt. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

We are currently providing trial access to Statista, a site that compiles statistics from various sources and presents them in visually arresting ways. Many of the stats have a business angle, but variety is the key word here. Some examples:

You get the idea.

You can easily toggle between different kinds of charts, and then download a high-quality image, PDF or PowerPoint slide, or export the data as an Excel file.

Where does the info come from? According to Statista,

data sources include market research reports, such as the Ipsos Affluent Survey published annually by Ipsos Media, Simmons National Consumer Studies and Consumer Insights from Scarborough Research, as well as trade publications, scientific journals, and government databases.

Threshold for Herd Immunity for Select Diseases 2013

What do you think? Let a librarian know. You can find it through March 27 on our Research Databases page, or click below.

Go to Statista

A few new offerings have been added to library Research Databases, based on trials we did in the Spring. Here are the details:


This periodical database features some of the highest-impact journals in the field, such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. When we tried out this database in the Spring, it quickly became one of our most-used sources of full-text articles. Journals in this database have no embargo period; in other words, the most recent issues are included, which isn’t always the case in our databases.

A couple notes:

  • It turns out that the price we were given is a “first-year” price, with a significant increase next year, so it is not clear we will have the database past June 2015. We’ve put a note to that effect in the description of the database on our listings page.
  • This is not the only place to go for psychology periodicals; important journals are also found in the Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection, ScienceDirect, MEDLINE, and JSTOR. One solution is to use OneSearch for your periodicals searching; there is even an experimental feature where you can limit your searching to psychology-related material.
On the Advanced Search screen, select Psychology from the area that says "Choose a discipline to search"

Advanced Search Screen in OneSearch

Go to PsycARTICLES >>

RAND California & US

This database provides statistical information on a large number of topics. We find that students are often looking for information on topics including criminal justice (how many people are incarcerated in the California?), income (number of children in poverty in the US?), and education (what is the high school dropout rate and does it vary by race or ethnicity?). Much of this information is available via various government websites. RAND has pulled together many of the most-requested items and made them easy to find in a single database, making available tables that you can eyeball for the number you need or download to Excel or similar software for further analysis or mashups.

Populations and Capacities (CA only): number of inmates from all correctional facilities

A data query in RAND statistics

Table from Rand State Statistics showing Prison Populations and Capacities for all facilities in California. Some graphs are available; for more, download to Excel and make your own.

A data table in RAND California

This database is replacing last year’s offering of the Statistical Abstract from ProQuest, which saw little use and was not quite as user-friendly as RAND’s product.

Go to RAND California & US >>

Ambrose Video

This database includes educational videos covering history, the sciences, and the arts. All the videos are closed-captioned. While these videos should be embeddable in D2L courses, we are running into some problems with doing so, so for now please just link to the site itself.

Many of the programs include downloadable supplementary documents and lesson plans. We are also thinking of this as a one-year trial, to see how interesting it is to the campus at large. So please, let us know if this is the sort of thing you need from the library!

Go to Ambrose Video >>

Every year we take a look at the databases we offer and ask some questions: what is being used, and what isn’t? What new needs have emerged, and what new tools have come on the market?

As we contemplate changes, vendors are often happy to offer limited trials. This year we are looking at a few things we have not previously offered as library subscriptions. Here’s the list of what is available currently. Note, most of these trials will expire on or around May 7.

One or two more trials may appear in the coming weeks. You can find all of these at the databases page under Trial Databases.