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Personalized Research Portfolios? We’ve Got That!

You’ve just spent a half-hour or more creating and perfecting a search strategy in one of the library’s specialized databases. After trying out different keywords and perhaps even consulting the database thesaurus, your results are now right on target. If this is a topic you intend to pursue over time, why not save that search strategy so that you don’t have to go hunting for keywords all over again? Many of Falvey’s subject-specific databases provide a customizable online portfolio where you can store search strategies and results and even create automated search alerts.

Here’s an example of My EBSCOhost, the valuable, time-saving portfolio available for databases such as America: History & Life, Catholic Periodical & Literature Index, CINAHL with Full Text, Communication & Mass Media Complete and Historical Abstracts. Access all of these databases at the Falvey homepage under Databases A-Z.

I consulted the CINAHL thesaurus to find precise keywords for my nursing topic: how to manage the diet of patients with type 2 diabetes. Then I limited my results to English-language articles from peer-reviewed journals.

Now that I have developed a search strategy that retrieves the most pertinent articles, I’d like to save it for future use. Here’s how I can do that. I start by clicking the “Sign in” link, located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

 

At the next screen I click “Create a new account” and complete the online form.


 

Now the My EBSCOhost logo is displayed, indicating that I’ve successfully created and signed into my own research portal.

 

Now I can save my search by clicking the “Save Searches / Alerts” link located just below my search history.

I will be prompted to give my search a name and to save it. I can even turn that strategy into a search alert, instructing EBSCO to run it automatically every week or every month and to notify me when new articles are published!

Other database platforms, such as ProQuest, Web of Knowledge and PubMed, also have a comparable feature.

View this short video if you are interested in learning about the My Research portfolio available through ProQuest, provider of Sociological Abstracts, PsychInfo, Philosopher’s Index and other databases available through the Falvey web site.

If you have questions or want to learn more about customizable research portals, contact Research Support at ref@villanova.edu or 610-519-4273.

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Last Modified: December 10, 2011