Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Gale PowerSearch

Gale, which provides access to a wide variety of full-text resources, such as InfoTrac OneFile, Expanded Academic ASAP, Gale Virtual Reference, Custom Newspapers and many others, has implemented a new cross-database search interface called PowerSearch. You can now search across multiple Gale collections at the same time using a single interface. This includes thousands of journal, newspaper and encyclopedia titles.

This article is just an overview of some of the changes and features available. For more details go into the Gale databases and see for yourself! There is also a "? Help" icon in the upper right side of every page in the database.
PowerSearch is now the default search interface for all compatible collections and can also be used to search multiple collections at the same time. To do this:
  1. From the "All Research Databases" page, scroll down to "Gale Group" and click on "View/Select All" and login (college login and password required).
  2. The first page will show you which Gale collections are currently available for "PowerSearching" (this list will grow in the future). By default, all collections are selected, but you can click in a check box to select or deselect any. Also note that those "additional databases" that are not available for these features can still be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of the page.

  3. Click "Submit" at the top to get to the search page.

  4. ProQuest Powersearch databases
  5. The default search option is "Basic," but you can switch to other options, such as Subject Guide or Advanced Search by using the links in the light blue menu bar just above the search boxes.

  6. Note that you have several options within the Basic Search, such as where to search (subject, keyword, or full-text of articles), and limiting your search to peer-reviewed journals and or articles available in full-text within Gale.
  7. Gale Powr Search box
  8. The results page has also been improved in Gale. It now includes several very useful features:
  • Publication Type tabs: the default is to show magazine and journal results by date, but you can use these tabs just above the results display to view, if available, reference or news articles or multimedia files. Note that to see the limit options, click on the "More Search Options" link below the search box.

  • Subject Guide: to the left of the results, you will see a list of suggested subject terms deemed closest to the first keyword you entered in your search. Subject terms are assigned to each article based on their content and eliminate having to think of alternate terminology or synonyms, so using them is actually a much more precise way to search. Just click on a subject from the list to do a search of the subject field using that term.

  • Article Details: For each result, a citation is displayed containing title, author and publication information. Click on the title to access the record (if no full-text is available it will show you the abstract).
  • Article Shortcuts: the icons just below each citation give you a visual clue to the content. The little paper and or red Adobe icons indicate if full-text is available. Just click on an icon to go directly to that full-text. The pointing hand icon allows you to generate a properly formatted citation using either APA or MLA style. In addition, you can format it for plain text as well. There is also an option to format and export the citation(s) to bibliographic software, such as EndNote.
Powersearch results page

You can access the Gale collections by following the steps at the top of this article or going directly to the Gale Group login.

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