Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Saving Your Research: Why Bookmarking Alone Won't Do It

"I saved the permalink to an article I found, but I can't get back to the page." We hear variations on this panicked statement often. Here's how to deal with the problem.

Although you can bookmark or otherwise save the permalink URL for an article you've found in one of our databases, simply returning to that same web address won't bring up page. You'll more likely hit a page asking you to log in to the database. But what you really need to do is go back through the library website to be authenticated as a Berklee library user. Why? It's like a security system for a building. It may be faster and more direct to enter through a side door to head straight to your room. But the side door is kept locked; you have to go in the front door and swipe your ID at the security desk. Going through the library website to get to our online resources is how you get authenticated as a Berklee user who is covered under our subscription for access.

Armed with this knowledge, there are a few ways you can save the articles you find to use again later:

1. Bookmarking or saving permalinks

Use this method especially if you had already found your articles without anticipating later access problems.
  • Note which database your article came from, such as Educator's Reference Complete or Literature Resource Center. 
  • Return to the library's Search Articles & More page. If you're doing this from an off-campus internet connection, you'll be prompted to log in as a Berklee user. 
  • Click on "Search by database" in the center near the top of the page.
  • Click on the name of the database.
  • To use the previous metaphor, you've now gone through the security system. Fire up that bookmark or permalink to return to your article.
2. Using database tools within each database

If you use this method, you will need to keep track of which databases you used to find articles initially.

In most databases, you can create an account and save your research for later. The link to log in or create an account is often found in the top right of the page. The databases usually give the option to select or save articles from your list of search results. Here's an example from JSTOR:

Some database vendors such as EBSCO and Gale, supply multiple databases, so if you create one account that will cover you for all their databases.

To clarify, going through the library website is for the Berklee subscription, but logging in is for your own account under that blanket subscription.

3. Downloading or emailing for offline use

Most databases allow you to save articles, either by downloading them directly to your computer or emailing them as attached files, often with a properly formatted citation. The advantages are that you don't need to create an account within each database and you can then access them even when you don't have an internet connection. However, they can get lost in a boatload of downloads or other email, so consider setting up a folder just for the articles for each assignment and renaming the files to something meaningful.

Email links are usually along the top or right side of the page when viewing an article. Here is an example from EBSCO's Academic Search Premier:

If you find a bunch of useful articles in a single database, you may be able to select them all to download or email at once.

Be aware that some databases such as Oxford Music Online only email a link to the article, not the article itself, which requires going back through the library website to access it.

Using these strategies, you'll never again find yourself stuck without access that awesome article you found previously.

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