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Quick Search is a search engine that allows you to simultaneously search up to 30 selected library databases. For example, you can choose to search the Proquest Research Library, Ebsco Academic Search Elite, and JSTOR at the same time. Search results are returned in a common single interface. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Quick Search:

For whom is Quick Search designed?

Which databases are available and why isn’t my favorite one included?

How does Quick Search work?

What are the limitations in using Quick Search?

Why are there no results for one (or more) of the databases?

How do I search article databases using Quick Search?

What determines the order in which the results from different databases appear?

To whom should I direct my suggestions and questions?

Q: Who is Quick Search designed for?

A: Two types of researchers:

  1. For anyone who is uncertain where to start his/her research and wants to search several databases at once, just to see what's 'out there'. Thus, Quick Search can be a discovery tool.

  2. For anyone researching a question that involves more than one subject area (e.g. the question ‘what are the ethical issues in genetic research?’ involves both ethics and medicine, or science), or more than one type of source--articles, books, and reports. (Please note: there are searching limitations with Quick Search and for more sophisticated searching it may be advisable to search individual library databases directly.)

Q: Which databases are available and why isn't my favorite search engine included?

A: The initial software purchase allowed a maximum of 30 databases to which we already subscribe, plus 6 free resources. The Advanced Search Screen lists all of the databases arranged in broad subject categories. The implementation team had to balance broad coverage and inclusion of most disciplines.

Q. How does Quick Search work?

A: This is what happens “behind the scene:” Quick Search takes your search terms, and passes them on to the databases that you have selected. Quick Search retrieves the results from each database and displays them all together using a tabbed display which is the default. An interfiled option is also available (slower). When you click on the link for an individual result or article, Quick Search opens a new browser window/tab, and connects you into that particular database.

Q. What are the limitations in using Quick Search?

A: Quick Search is a ‘go-between’ you and selected library databases; however, it is a blunt instrument rather than a precision search tool. It has little control over how the databases are being searched. Therefore, you cannot do really complex, detailed searching. For more sophisticated searching, it is advisable to directly search each database individually.

Q. Why are there no results for one (or more) of the databases?

A: This question is harder to answer because there are several possibilities; here are the most common problems:

  • Timing out – sometimes communication between Quick Search and the databases is really slow, and Quick Search is not able to retrieve the results.
  • There may also be technical problems with the individual library databases (they may be down). If you consistently get no results for a particular search engine (database), please let us know so that we can check into the problem.
  • If you are off-campus, and do not use the VPN software, it is more likely that Quick Search will have problems passing information back and forth with databases. Without the VPN, Quick Search must also pass the information through your internet service provider, and sometimes this works poorly or times out.

How do I search article databases using Quick Search?

A: There are three ways to use Quick Search. Your choice depends on how you want to search: Start by clicking on the ‘Find Articles’ tab on the Libraries’ homepage. Quick Search is the second option.

articles

  1. Type your keywords in the Quick Search text box and click on the Search button. This method ONLY offers keyword. The default database category is General & Full-Text, however, you can use the pull-down menu to change the subject category. See screen below:
  2. pull down

  3. The Basic or Simple Search allows a simple keyword search or you can choose to search by author, title, or subject by using the pull-down menu. With Basic Search you may also choose more than one subject category of databases in which to search. See screen below:

    quick search simple

  4. Advanced Search contains the same abilities as the Basic search but also allows you to combine search terms for more complex searching (Boolean search) and to select individual databases from within the subject categories. See screen below:


    quick search advanced

  5. Q:  What determines the order in which the results from different databases appear?

    A:  While the databases are listed alphabetically on the tabbed results screen the database with the first viewable results is determined by the combination of Internet connection speed and vendor server speed. See screen below. Results from each database are grouped together; you can choose to see all results interfiled into one list (not recommended as it can take more time).

    quick search results

    Q:  To whom should I direct my suggestions and questions?

    A:  User comments and suggestions are welcome please use the AskUs! contacts.


 

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