Post written by Danny Dotson, Associate Professor, Mathematical Sciences Librarian & Science Education Specialist, and head of the Orton Memorial Library of Geology & the Gardner Family Map Room at The Ohio State University
So have you ever had a student tell you that they’re using EBSCO or ProQuest – or some other “database” for their searching? If you’re a librarian, you’ll know this isn’t useful info. But I’m going to help demonstrate just HOW unusual it is.
For those that may not know why at all, a background. EBSCO and ProQuest are database vendors. They sell many different databases. Many many databases. And while their branded platform may make most, if not all, of their databases look the similar (if not the same in some cases), what these databases search for and their search features can vary.
Imagine if you asked someone what they were eating. And they replied “Nabisco!” That’s not very informative. Are they eating Chips Ahoy!? Ritz crackers? Easy Cheese?
Using what Ohio State has to offer, here are the possibilities for when people name a vendor rather than the actual database:
Now let’s look closer at EBSCO’s database. I mean, real close. How small does the font have to be to get all of the databases to fit so that this blog can be drafted in just a 1 page Word document (1/2 inch margins)? Even using 4 columns, the Arial font has to be at 4 pt!
This just addressed two vendors. There are others with multiple databases..
So next time you have someone say they’re using EBSCO or ProQuest, let them know you had some Nabisco earlier!