This video covers how to use the research tools on the University of Alabama Libraries' website to find the resources you need.
The search functions covered are Scout, The Databases Index, E-Resources, the Libraries' Catalog, and ACUMEN Digital Archives.
UA Libraries: http://www.lib.ua.edu
Our primary search tool is SCOUT, which searches the Libraries Catalog, our databases, the digital archive, all in one search.
Scout looks for keywords by default, but its Advanced Search mode can be adjusted with the drop-down menus to search by title, author, or other parameters.
Use the AND, OR, NOT menu to narrow or broaden your terms.
You can refine results in the sidebar. For example, I might want only peer-reviewed articles published since 2016.
I’ll enter a simple keyword search to illustrate how the results display and link to the resources.
The first is a print book currently on the shelf in the Education library.
The second is an article from an academic journal with a linked pdf, which requires a few clicks to get to it.
Next is a direct download link for a full-text pdf.
Last you can see “Check for Full Text,” this means that we don’t have access to a digital copy, but it may be available through print holdings or interlibrary loan.
As the all-in-one research tool for UA Libraries, Scout is a great place to begin exploring a topic and discovering what articles and books are available.
For more in-depth research, however, you may need to explore specific databases.
Databases are large collections of specialized content, such as full-text academic journals, news, statistical data, or streaming video collections.
UA Libraries provides access to hundreds of databases, all of which can be accessed through our Databases link on the home page.
You can use the drop-down menus to find databases by subject or type. You can also find a database by name using the A-Z index or search bar.
The subject, scope, and range of a database are described below each link.
Each link will take you to that database’s landing page, where you can browse or search for specific resources.
Databases are organized and constructed in a variety of ways.
Some, like Academic Search Premier, look a lot like Scout.
Others, like ProQuest Historical Newspapers, have different options and search functions designed specifically for the content they contain.
In most databases, you can perform advanced searches with menus and limiters to find the best results. Many databases also provide specific tutorials and FAQs for advanced searching.
Each database has unique content and resources, so advanced research often requires searching in multiple databases.
The E-Resources link lets you browse our electronic journal and book holdings alphabetically or by subject area.
You can also search by journal title, making this the fastest way to find complete issues of specific scholarly journals; just search for the title, follow the links, and then find the volume you want. Most are organized by year.
You can also browse by subject area, and then limit your results by resource type. Clicking a title in the results listing will allow you to directly access the content.
The Libraries' Catalog search tool is different than Scout, and is sometimes more convenient to use if you know the author, title, or subject of a book you’re looking for.
The catalog searches UA’s permanent collection of books, government docs, periodicals, multimedia items, rare books, primary documents, and microfilm.
You can also search for specific journals by title to check availability of print and electronic volumes.
When you click on a result, you’ll see the item’s information, location, and availability.
The actions menu on the right of the item record page allows you to save, send, or export records, and you can also request to hold a book, recall a book that is currently checked out, or request items from the Annex.
ACUMEN DIGITAL ARCHIVES:
Through UA’s homegrown digital archive, ACUMEN, you can access or locate items from our special collections libraries such as dissertations, manuscripts, photographs, historical audio, and rare books.
ACUMEN is searched by keyword and results can be filtered by resource type.
For detailed information on using UA’s special collections with ACUMEN, click the Guidance tab at the top of the ACUMEN front page.
If you need help finding resources or have questions about using UA Libraries, contact us at 205-348-6047 or go to ask.lib.ua.edu to Ask-A-Librarian."