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Information Studies - Electronic Indexes

The best online indexes cost money. As a student, your fees pay for several indexes which are accessible through the PAC library's web site:

Scroll down the screen until you see "RESEARCH TOOLS." If you click on the down arrow, you will be presented with a list of the indexes and other research tools available. Some of these are free and some are not.

The most-used index by our students is ProQuest, so let's take a look at it first.


Highlight the ProQuest line (near the top of the list) and then click on GO. The next screen allows you to choose ON- or OFF-CAMPUS. If you are on campus, the system can sense it and you will not be required to supply a password. If you are off campus, give me a call or email me and I will supply you with the password.

Click on CONTINUE until you are presented with a blank SEARCH line to fill in. Click on that line to get a cursor and type the following: "fish and Mexico". This is a boolean search--the words "and," "or," and "not" are boolean operators and can narrow or broaden your search. Hit enter.

You should have gotten at least 50 articles from that search. Notice the columns to the left of the article titles, however. The icons indicate whether an abstract is available, if the full text of the article is available, or if even a photocopy of the article is available (look at the bottom of your screen for the key).

Notice that articles one through seven are available only as abstracts. This may not be good enough for your purposes. Article eight is available full text. This is wonderful. Only about one-third the articles indexed in ProQuest are available as full text. If the article you need is not available right here as full text, then you will need to check the library catalog to see if the journal or magazine title is available in paper.

Hit the BACK button and take another look at the search screen. Notice that it says SEARCH BY WORD. You can also search by publication title if you click the other choice at the top of the screen. Notice below the blank line you also have a choice of searching current, backfile, or deep backfile. You can also search various publication types and specific databases instead of the entire group if you wish.


Now click on the HOME button and let's look at another popular research database, NewsBank.

Go down to RESEARCH TOOLS and click on the down arrow. Scroll down to OTHER ON-CAMPUS INDEXES. Click on it to highlight it, then click on GO. Scroll down to the heading NEWSPAPERS - NEWSBANK (it is in bold). Click on it. (You will for now need to access this index from on campus... otherwise, skip this little section.)

Notice that you are taken directly to the search screen if you are on campus. This is because the system can sense where you are. If you are off campus, contact me and I will give you the password.

ProQuest was primarily magazines and journals. NewsBank, on the other hand, is an index of newspapers. The focus, therefore, is more on current and political materials.

The best general database for research is CURRICULUM RESOURCE, the top item on the search screen. However, scroll down and see what else is available. Notice particularly the availability of the San Antonio Express-News and the Washington Post. Be sure to also read the description of STATBANK.

Let's try CURRICULUM RESOURCE for now. Click on that link or the START SEARCH button beside it. Again you are presented with a blank line in which to type your search. Notice you choices on the screen. Let's try the same search, "fish and Mexico".

I get more than 200 articles back. Of course, results will vary since they are adding resources every day to the database. Notice that again you have before you a list of links to resources. The difference here is that EVERY link is full text. So, you need only read through the links and choose the best ones for your purpose.

NewsBank files are also available in microfiche format upstairs in the Information Concourse, as are the indexes in print format. You might want to go up there and check out this option.

Other Databases

You need to go back to HOME and explore some of the other databases and resources listed under RESEARCH TOOLS. Most are free and very useful. (The free ones are listed under OFF-CAMPUS INDEXES.)

First Search, under PERIODICALS, is an exception. It is expensive to use and so we require that you come into the library and let us help you with it.

Be sure to check out TexShare. This is a Texas-wide system for sharing academic libraries which might be of great help to you. For an explanation, go to this URL:


1. Using ProQuest, locate at least one article relevant to your term paper's subject. Turn in the printout (full-text) of the article, and an MLA-style citation.

2. Using NewsBank, locate at least one article which is full-text for your term paper. Turn in the printout of the article, and your MLA-style citation.

3. Using the ProQuest Periodical Abstracts, locate at least one article for your term paper which is not full-text. Locate the paper copy in this library, or at another library. Turn in the ProQuest citation printout, and the exact location and format of the original... For instance, if the article is located here, you would give the call number and indicate a "print" format, or you would indicate a microfilm or microfiche format and the information for locating it. If the article is not available in this library, you would indicate where it is available, and in what format.

4. Search StatBank for any statistics relevant to your term paper subject. Report on results.

NOTE: Numbers 2 and 4 are optional since they require that you be on campus.

Next: Indexes to Newspapers

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Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS

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