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How to Use Catalogs & Databases

Detailed step-by-step instructions (with screenshots) for using the library's catalogs and databases

How to Find Articles

Places where you can find journal articles.

Charger Search: All Library Databases

Charger Search: All Library Databases is a broad tool for searching multiple library resources at once. Gather information from books and ebooks; articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers; theses/dissertations; reports; reference works; & more. This search system will mix the different types of sources into one list of search results.

Here's a link:

Searching from the Basic Search Page (Main Page)

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screenshot of Charger Search basic search page

  1. Access library services, such as Ask a Librarian, and Advanced Search from menu icon
  2. Enter search terms in the search box and click the Search button

Searching from the Advanced Search Page

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screenshot of Charger Search advanced search page

  1. Change "All Fields" drop-down to search by title, author, etc.
  2. Enter search term(s) in box(es)
  3. Change "AND" drop-down box to adjust AND, OR, NOT options to search for all words, any words, or exclude words
  4. Click the "Add a row" link to add more search box rows, if needed
  5. Publication date range: enter dates to limit results by date
  6. Show content type: check box(es) to limit by content type, such as book, ebook, article, etc.
  7. Language: click the drop-down to limit results by language
  8. Show only: check box(es) to limit by full text, peer review, etc.
  9. Exclude from results: check box(es) to exclude specific types of sources from the results, such as newspaper articles, book reviews, etc.
  10. Expand your results: check the box to include results that the library doesn't have; this can be useful for knowing what else may be available and making interlibrary loan requests
  11. Click the "Clear Form" link if you need to clear the options and start over
  12. Click the "Back to basic search" link to return to the basic search page (main page)
  13. Click the Search button to start the search

Reviewing the Search Results

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screenshot of Charger Search results page

  1. From the top:
    • Use the search box to tweak search terms, if needed
    • Click the link for the Advanced Search, if more detailed tweaks are needed
    • Click on the folder icon for saved items (articles, ebooks, etc.)
    • Click on the menu icon for additional services
    • Look at the number of results to see if there are too few or too many
    • Click on the "Relevance" link to change the sorting option to sort by date
    • Check the box for "Add results beyond your library's collection" to show items that might be useful to request from interlibrary loan
  2. From the left-side menu:
    • Refine your source: click on options to refine results by source characteristics (full text, peer-review, etc.)
    • Content type: click on options to limit the results by content type (newspaper article, book/ebook, journal article, etc.)
    • Discipline: click on options to limit results by subject or discipline; click on the "More" link to show the full list of disciplines/subjects available
    • Publication date: enter dates to limit results to items published within a specific date range
    • Subject terms: click on options to limit results by subject terms, which are related to how the sources are indexed or categorized
    • Language: if sources are in several languages, options will appear to limit the results
  3. From the right-side options:
    • Look for definitions from Encyclopædia Britannica
    • A Related Topics section will suggest topics or phrases that the system thinks are related to your search terms; may be useful for adjusting the search when the results aren't quite right
  4. For each source:
    • Click on the "Preview" link to view a preview of the source (a panel will open below the source's title)
    • Icons: there are several icons with additional options
      • Click on the quotation mark (citation icon) for the citation generator
      • Click on the email icon to email the source information to yourself or someone else
      • Click on the folder icon to save the source to your account
      • click on the ellipses icon to export the source information to a citation manager (Zotero, etc.)
    • Availability: look for the availability or source location information
      • for print books, this will be a call number to locate the book in the library
      • for electronic sources (ebooks, articles, etc.), this will be a link to the database that has the source
    • Source title link: click on the title of the source to go to the full text for that source
      • for print books, the link will go to the library catalog

Previewing a Source

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screenshot of Charger Search preview panel

  1. Click on the "Preview" link to view a preview of the source
  2. If the source is an article, an abstract will appear. Otherwise, a brief excerpt from a book or longer source will appear
  3. There will also be source information that will be using for citing your source or locating print sources - publication date, call number, etc.
  4. Click on the "Permanent Link" link to view a permanent link to the source in Charger Search: All Library Database. This link will always work. (Copying the URL from the location bar in the browser won't always work because those URLs tend to time out.)
  5. Click on the "Preview" link again to close the preview

EBSCO database logoColumbia State subscribes to several EBSCO databases that cover a wide range of disciplines, including art, humanities, business, nursing, sciences,  and social sciences. Most of the article databases have the same search interface.

Select one of the EBSCO databases from the drop-down box below:

Searching from the Basic Search Page (Main Page)

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EBSCO databases basic search page

  1. From top bar:
    • New Search = start a new search
    • Publications = a list of journal titles
    • Thesaurus = search for official subject terms (ex: flu vs influenza)
    • Indexes = browse indexes
    • Sign In = log in to personal account (required for downloading ebooks)
    • Folder = save information
    • Preferences = set preferences
    • Languages = select language
    • Help = help menu
    • Click the library home logo to go to the CSCC library's homepage
  2. Search area:
    • Click Choose Databases to select an EBSCO database
    • Enter search words in search box
    • Click the Search button to start the search
    • Click the Create Alert button to crease search alerts
    • Switch between Basic Search, Advanced Search, and Search History
    • Click on the question mark icon to go to the help menu
  3. Search Options:
    • Click the Reset button to start over
    • Search modes and expanders: these options help to increase the search results by including related words or synonyms and searching in more places related to the source (including within the source itself, instead of just subject terms and titles, etc.)
      • Search modes:
        • Boolean/Phrase = AND, OR, NOT and phrase search
        • All search terms = AND
        • Any search terms = OR
        • SmartText Searching = creates a summarized search based on large amounts of text
      • Any related words: check to use related words
      • Also search within the full text of the article: check to search within full text of the source
      • Apply equivalent subjects: check to search in subjects that have same meaning
    • Limit results: these options help to narrow the number of search results
      • Full Text = check the box to limit to full text articles
      • Publication = enter a publication title to limit by publication title
      • Publication Type = select a publication type to limit by that type (such as journal)
      • ISSN = enter an ISSN to limit results by ISSN
      • Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journal = check the box to limit to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals
      • Published Date = enter dates to limit results by date
      • Document Type = select a document type to limit by that type (such as article, report, etc.)
      • PDF Full Text = check the box to limit to full text in PDF format
    • Click the Search button to start the search

Searching from the Advanced Search Page

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EBSCO databases advanced search page

  1. Enter search words in search box
  2. Click the Search button to start the search
  3. Click the Create Alert button to crease search alerts
  4. Search Options:
    • Click the Reset button to start over
    • Search modes and expanders: these options help to increase the search results by including related words or synonyms and searching in more places related to the source (including within the source itself, instead of just subject terms and titles, etc.)
      • Search modes:
        • Boolean/Phrase = AND, OR, NOT and phrase search
        • All search terms = AND
        • Any search terms = OR
        • SmartText Searching = creates a summarized search based on large amounts of text
      • Any related words: check to use related words
      • Also search within the full text of the article: check to search within full text of the source
      • Apply equivalent subjects: check to search in subjects that have same meaning
    • Limit results: these options help to narrow the number of search results
      • Full Text = check the box to limit to full text articles
      • Publication = enter a publication title to limit by publication title
      • Publication Type = select a publication type to limit by that type (such as journal)
      • ISSN = enter an ISSN to limit results by ISSN
      • Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journal = check the box to limit to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals
      • Published Date = enter dates to limit results by date
      • Document Type = select a document type to limit by that type (such as article, report, etc.)
      • PDF Full Text = check the box to limit to full text in PDF format
    • Click the Search button to start the search

Reviewing the Search Results

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EBSCO databases results page

  1. From the left-side menu:
    • The Current Search area displays the details for the current search, including the search words and any limiters or expanders that were used
    • Limit To = options to limit results by:
      • full text
      • scholarly (peer reviewed) journals
      • PDF full text format
      • publication date
    • Source Types = select specific source types (academic journals, magazines, reports, trade publications, etc.)
    • Subject = limit results according to subject term
    • Additional categories = click each section to select specific options for:
      • Publication
      • Publisher
      • Language
  2. From the search results area:
    • View the number of results below the search box
    • Click on the Relevance drop-down to adjust sorting options
    • Click on the Page Options drop-down to adjust page layout
    • Click on the Share drop-down for options to share results with others (link, email, social media, etc.)
    • The linked title goes to the article record page (the main page about the article)
    • Information about the article appears directly below the title: author, journal, page numbers, DOI, subject terms, etc.
    • Magnifying glass icon = click this icon to view the abstract
    • Folder icon = click this icon to save information about the article to your folder
    • Image icon = an image icon will appear to show what type of document the source is, such as an academic journal, newspaper, magazine, etc.
    • PDF Full Text icon = click the PDF Full Text icon and link to go to the PDF full text of the article

Previewing an Article Abstract

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EBSCO databases abstract pop-up window

  1. Click the magnifying glass icon to view the abstract
  2. Information about the article appears at the top of the pop-up window: title, author, publication title, date, publication type
  3. Subject terms for the article tell what the article is about
  4. Read the article abstract (may need to scroll down within the pop-up window for longer abstracts)
  5. Options to use the article appear at the bottom of the pop-up window:
    • PDF Full Text = click the PDF Full Text icon and link to go to the PDF full text of the article
    • Add to folder = add the article to your folder
    • Detailed Record = click to go to the article record page (main page about the article)

Viewing the Full Text of an Article

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EBSCO databases article record page

  1. The title of the article appears at the top of the page
  2. Click the PDF Full Text link to view the PDF formatted full text of the article
  3. The author names are linked; click on the links to find other articles by the same author
  4. Information about the journal (title, date, volume number, issue number, page range) are below the author names. These are useful for citing the source. And the journal title is also often linked for searching by journal title.
  5. The article abstract provides a brief summary describing what the article is about
  6. The author affiliations provide information about where the authors work or are from. This is useful background information when determining the authority of a source.
  7. A DOI may appear at the bottom of the page; DOI is an acronym for "digital object identifier," which is used as part of the source reference when citing the source
  8. The right side provides tools for working with the article: print, email, save, cite, export, permanent link, etc.

Using a Generated Citation

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EBSCO databases generated citation

  1. Clicking on the Cite link provides a suggested citation.
  2. Scroll down the list of citations to locate the one in the correct citation and style format (APA, MLA, etc.)
  3. The database includes a note to review the suggested citation in order to make corrections. Remember to copy, paste, and edit. These generated citations often have incorrect formatting, such as including an author's email address or other errors.
  4. Click on the "Export to Bibliographic Management Software" link to export the citation to other software, such as EndNote, etc.

Gale database logoColumbia State subscribes to many Gale databases that cover a wide range of disciplines, including agriculture, humanities, business, nursing, sciences,  and social sciences, along with interdisciplinary databases. Most of the article databases have the same search interface.

Select one of the Gale databases from the drop-down box below:

Searching from the Basic Search Page (Main Page)

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Gale databases basic search page

  1. From the top:
    • Click on the Logout link to logout
    • Click on the My Library Links to close the library links bar (and reopen it)
    • Click on the English link to change the language
    • Sign in to Google or Microsoft accounts to save articles to Google Drive or OneDrive
    • Click on the Advanced logo to go to the Advanced Search page
    • Click on the Bookmark logo to save a bookmark for the page
    • Click on the More logo for more options
  2. Enter search words in the Search box
  3. Click on the Subject Guide Search box to go to the Subject Guide Search
  4. Click on the Publication Search box to go to the Publication Search
  5. Click on the Topic Finder link to go to the Topic Finder search
  6. Popular searches will appear under the Top Searches section

Searching from the Advanced Search Page

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Gale databases advanced search page

  1. Click on the Subject Guide Search link to go to the Subject Guide Search
  2. Click on the Publication Search link to go to the Publication Search
  3. From the search box area:
    • Change the "AND" drop-down box to adjust AND, OR, NOT options to search for all words, any words, or exclude words
    • Enter search term(s) in box(es)
    • Change the drop-down box to search by title, author, etc.
    • Click on the "Add a Row" option to add more search rows
    • Click on the Search button to start the search
  4. From the More Options area:
    • Check boxes to limit results to:
      • full text documents
      • peer reviewed journals
      • text that includes images
    • Limit results by date or date range in the "by publication date(s)" section
    • Limit publication results by publication title (useful when searching for articles within specific books)
    • Exclude specific document types (article, interview, report, etc.); useful for removing book reviews
    • Limit by publication title (journal, magazine, etc.)
    • Limit by publication subject
    • Limit results by Lexile reading level
    • Click on the Search button to start the search
    • Click on the Clear button to clear the form and start again

Searching from the Topic Finder Page

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Gale databases Topic Finder page

  1. Enter search words in the search box
  2. The Search Terms section shows words currently searched in the topic finder
  3. Visual topic finder:
    • Choose between wheel or tiles
    • Click on topics to see related documents on the right
  4. Results pane = documents related to terms from the topic finder

Reviewing the Search Results

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Gale databases search results page

  1. From the top area:
    • Click on the Bookmark logo to save a bookmark for the page
  2. From the main reading area:
    • The top label will show what content type is shown (such as magazines) and how many results were found
    • Click on the "Relevance" drop-down box to change sorting options
    • Search Terms = shows what the search terms were and from what type of search (basic search or advanced search)
    • Also Try = suggested search terms
    • Each source include:
      • A description of the source: full text or abstract; type of article
      • A linked title that goes to the article page (main page)
      • Information about the article: reference details and the first few sentences of the full text
      • A Save button to save the article in Google Drive or OneDrive
  3. From the right-side menu:
    • Content Type = change document type shown in the results
    • "Search within results" box = continue searching, but only within the items found from the first search
    • Limit results by:
      • Full Text or text with images
      • Publication Dates
      • Subjects = subject or discipline
      • Document type = document type (article, etc.)
      • Publication title = publication title (journal, etc.)
      • Lexile Score
      • Topic Finder = click to repeat search in Topic Finder
    • Search Alert = click to create a Search Alert for the topic

Viewing the Full Text of an Article

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Gale databases article record page

  1. From the main reading area:
    • Click on the "Search Results" link to return to the Results page
    • Click on the "Related Resources" button to jump down to related resources at the bottom of the page
    • Click on the "Listen" button to hear text narration
    • Read the HTML version of the text
  2. From the right-side menu:
    • Use the options in the Tools menu to cite, email, download, print, highlight, save, share, and translate the text
    • Search within the main publication (journal, magazine, trade journal, etc.)
    • Click the plus sign to view related subjects to the text

Using a Generated Citation

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Gale databases article record page - citation

  1. The bottom of every article will have a suggested citation.
  2. Remember to copy, paste, and edit. These generated citations often have incorrect formatting, such as an article title in all capital letters or other errors.

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