Skip to main content

Faculty Guide to Utilizing Library Databases: Home

Library Resources in Course Pages

Faculty are encouraged to incorporate library-supplied resources into their courses. It should be noted, however, that use of these resources is governed by numerous license agreements. These contractual agreements between the database provider and the university govern the use of the electronic resources.

One important thing to remember: Do not post downloaded articles. This is a violation of our license agreements. You should post links to a resource instead. The reason behind this is rather simple. A driving factor behind decisions to keep a resource is the cost per use. Vendors know this. When a faculty members posts a PDF version of an article, only one "use" (the download by the professor) is counted - no matter how many students access that PDF. On the other hand, if a link is posted instead, a "use" is counted each and every time a student accesses the article. This is good for both the library and the database vendor. We can see true usage of a database, which will impact our decision to renew/not renew the product each year.

If you have a question about the license terms for a specific database, please contact collectiondevelopment@una.edu.

Linking to Content

It is relatively easy to create links to articles/documents within most of the library's subscribed databases. However, it is very important to create the links properly, or they will not work. Do not simply copy the url in the browser's address box. Most of the time, this url will contain dynamic, session-specific information. It might work for a short time, but will cease to work after the "session" expires. Also, this link will not provide access for off-campus users. That is why it is important to use the directions contained in this guide (or in the database help screens) to link to the content. By following these directions, you should be able to create links that will work long-term and are accessible both on- and off-campus. For additional help creating links to subscribed content, email libraryhelp@una.edu.

About this Guide

This guide was designed to help faculty use library resources more effectively in their teaching and research. The "Home" tab gives some basic, general information about using library resources in your courses. The "Books (Print & Electronic)" tab provides information on linking to catalog records, including those for electronic books. The "Database Information" tab provides links to pages for various database vendors. These pages give instructions on how to use research tools from that vendor and on how to link to database content.

Please note that this guide is and will always be a work in progress. As database vendors often "upgrade" their interface, the instructions on this page will be periodically reviewed and updated, as necessary. Also, the library often adds new databases. Some of these will be covered by existing pages on this guide; others will requrie the addition of new pages. We have tried, intially, to focus on those database that are most used. If you would like to see information on a database that is not included, please email collectiondevelopment@una.edu.

Database Tools for Research

The information sources offered by libraries have changed greatly in the last decade and are continuing to change. We have seen the evolution from print periodical indexes to CD-ROM products to web-based subscription databases. We have also seen the launch of periodical indexes with full-text, online reference sources, and streaming video databases. This explosion of new products has also brought an explosion of new research tools - personal folders, journal alerts, search alerts, RSS feeds, bookmarking, shared folders, etc. Unfortunatley, there is no standard terminology for the tools offered by the various database providers. Added to this frustration is the fact that the same tools are not necessary accessed in the same way in products from different vendors. See the "Database Information" tab to access detailed instructions on how to use these features.