Academic libraries and institutions in general place tremendous emphasis on developing their students as competent researchers. One of the ways that they can aid that process and empower their students is by providing them with the best research databases available. This article will analyze the top databases available to and used by private, independent institutions today.
Academic Search from EBSCO is one of the top multidisciplinary databases. It comes in a few variations – main, premier, elite, and complete – each with varying levels of accessibility. For example, while the main edition includes over 1,290 indexed and abstracted journals, the complete version offers over 13,780. These numbers follow a similar trend when looking at the number of full-text journals, and peer-reviewed journals. Regardless of which level and institution subscribes to though, they can be certain that they’re receiving some of the best journals available to students.
Almost every academic library uses databases provided by Gale. Their Virtual Reference Library was named the “Best Overall Database” by Library Journal in 2012 and carries over 9,000 full-text titles spanning a wide variety of disciplines. The interface is available in more than thirty languages and has text-to-speech functionality for 19 languages making it easy to use no matter what a student’s native language may be.
JSTOR is a great digital library that contains academic journals, books, and primary sources. They consider their goal to be to “expand access to scholarly content around the world and to preserve it for future generations”. There are more than 2,000 academic journals offered by JSTOR and over 50 million pages have been digitized by JSTOR, with more to come. Over 9,200 institutions worldwide use JSTOR, including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.
LexisNexis is one of the premier sources of documents relating to news, business, legal, medical, and reference publications. Over 2,000 universities in the United States choose LexisNexis’ academic offering to provide the research experience they’re seeking. Full-text documents from over 15,000 sources are available through the LexisNexis online academic research database.
ProQuest is another household name in the world of research. ProQuest databases contain scholarly journals, newspapers, reports, working papers, datasets, digitized historical primary sources, as well as over 450,000 ebooks. Their databases span a wide array of subjects from business to medicine to social sciences. ProQuest also boasts a collection that includes more than 6 billion digital pages with content that spans six centuries.
In order to put students in the best position to grow and thrive in their academic careers, institutions must provide the right tools and resources. For those who aren’t sure where to begin, these are just a few tools that the best and brightest use to conduct their research. Those who learn these valuable skills are put in the best position to continue to excel in their academic and professional careers, which is of course one of the top priorities of any great college or university.
How Your Students Benefit by Using These Databases in Your Library’s Mobile App
By showcasing your databases in your mobile app, you can drive student engagement with these great resources. With 90% of mobile users’ time spent in native apps, students are far more likely to stick with their research when information is provided to them in this manner.
Over 56% of academic libraries utilizing Boopsie’s mobile platform make EBSCO databases available to their students and almost 100% of libraries using the platform use one of these five database providers. Libraries using Boopsie mobile apps have seen their usage of already purchased subscriptions skyrocket by over 35% in many cases. Offering the most prominent databases and then featuring them in your very own mobile app are two of the best ways to help your students develop great skills.