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Library installs new tool designed to help with research

February 23, 2012
KOKOMO, Ind. – Researchers at the Indiana University Kokomo Library no longer spend hours on impractical websites, searching through loads of unnecessary information, only to end up with nothing more than a headache.Student working in the IU Kokom libraryStudent working in the IU Kokomo library.

The Library installed the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), a state-of-the-art research tool that allows users to explore numerous databases at the click of a mouse. Instead of logging on to several different search engines, students can simply make one coherent search, starting on the Library's home page.

With this new comprehensive technology, interdisciplinary research is much easier.

Rhonda Armstrong, dean of the library, said the service has been well received by students since it went online. She added that Kokomo is the only IU campus, other than Bloomington, to have the tool available.

"This cutting-edge technology allows students to search across many different disciplines," Armstrong said. "Faculty and students who are doing interdisciplinary research can easily find information throughout many, many sources."

Sources are not limited to just books, but also include journal, newspaper, and magazine articles, e-books, and government documents.

Digital User Experience Librarian Angie Thorpe believes EDS is especially helpful for students who are just beginning their research.

"This system helps the researcher decide which search terms to use, as well as with the research process in general. You try one thing and it may not work, so then you have to think of the other terms that you might search instead," she said. "In this case, it will suggest something else from its index of terms using the SmartText option. It will anticipate other related terms."

The service now also has Associated Press real-time news feed, which is helpful to those researching current topics. It also suggests other editions if the item a student wants is not available.

Thorpe said librarians have received positive feedback on the service.

"The results have been what the students had hoped to find," she said, adding that, in the past, researchers had to choose one of the many subject-based databases to search. Some students find the database selection overwhelming, and others want the more generalized option the new search offers, to help them narrow down their topic.

"This has been a really good solution to that problem," Thorpe said.

The service is also available to the general public. While nonstudents may not have access to all EDS search results, they are welcome to utilize this powerful tool to discover library resources. Reference librarians are available to help those unfamiliar with the program.

Overall, Thorpe and Armstrong are very excited about the impact the EBSCO discovery service will have on campus.

"We think that this will allow students and faculty to spend their time actually reading and evaluating the sources, as opposed to trying to find them," Thorpe said.

The library is open Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 08/14/2014