Bookmarking a page of results in academic search engines
July 18, 2014 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Question for those with access to academic search engines: is there a way to bookmark a specific page of results or navigate quickly to a particular result number?

My team and I need to look through all pages of results for particular search terms on PsychInfo, Digital Dissertations, and Academic Search Premier. There are tens of thousands of results and we're steadily making progress. However, we're finding it frustrating to navigate out to result number 2546 or whatever to pick up where someone else left off because the most results you can view in one page is typically 100, so you have to click through dozens of results to get to the page you want. We can't figure out how to bookmark a specific page of results. The URL of the page that contains the result number that the next person should pick up on just redirects to the first page of results.
I don't need help creating fewer results- just looking for tips on quickly getting to the result number I want. Thanks in advance!
posted by quiet coyote to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This can depend on the specific university library system you are working through. I think a call to your local academic reference librarian is your best bet.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 6:36 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Yeah, call your librarian. We can't answer this without knowing what your specific interface looks like. They vary, and if your institution has a proxy server, for example, that'll make it much harder to permalink because the URL structure for your results will be different. I can guess that doing this in Academic Search Premier is going to be a horrible pain and the only way to make it better is to break down your big search into smaller ones. (Your librarian can help with that too if you have trouble.)
posted by clavicle at 7:08 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The things you describe are generally referred to by librarians as "databases" - yeah, I know, not entirely accurate, but if you do wind up talking to a librarian that might help you both be on the same page a bit faster.

The thing with journal databases is that because content is constantly being added to them, every time you do a search you might not be getting exactly the same results. This is why you can't bookmark a particular search or page of search results, because it's actually a query generated every single time. The search engine part is asking the database, what do we have that meets these criteria? And then shows everything that matches - if nothing new has been added since the last time you searched, you'll get the same results. Particularly if your topic is fairly specific and niche, that may well be the case.

Anyhow, the good news is that most databases have an option to let you sign in for extra functionality. EBSCO (the vendor for Academic Search Premier) and ProQuest (the vendor for PsychINFO) both let you set up individual accounts (free) to do things like save searches, share research with others, set up alerts when new articles meeting your criteria are added to the databases, etc. They usually have some pretty good online help screens to walk you through how to do things. Not sure who the vendor for Digital Dissertations is, but I'd bet they have something similar.

If that doesn't help, or if it raises other questions, definitely ask your librarian. If you don't have a librarian at your institution, is there a university nearby that you might be able to use? It's just easier to demonstrate with both of you looking at the same thing rather than to try to describe stuff remotely. Trust me, I have years of experience on this one...
posted by Athanassiel at 7:57 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thirding responses above. Set up a meeting with your reference and research librarian. If you're at a big university there should be someone who specializes in research in your field.
posted by mareli at 7:58 AM on July 18, 2014

Oh yeah, also: EBSCO has a thing where at the bottom of the first page of search results, you can jump to a specific page. It only gives you options of pages 1-5 initially, but if you click on 5 and then the "Next" button it will show you options of pages 6-10. Not fantastic, but better than going through each page. ProQuest works similarly but you get an initial selection of 1-10, then 4-13 etc. Though you can also monkey with how many results per page, which may or may not help.
posted by Athanassiel at 8:04 AM on July 18, 2014

Best answer: Uni Librarian here! Many of the databases have their own options to save searches (very important as you narrow and explore your topic!) and results. Look for an option to Log In or Save or Folders will often lead you to these options. Don't be afraid to have a look at the Help files that are available from most pages.

Your librarian could also help you by showing you options for a software that can manage all your results from various databases. Examples include RefWorks, Endnote, Zotero, and Mendeley. These allow you to get rid of the duplicates that you invariably will find when searching more than one database. They also will help you with create bibliographies and citing when writing.

If you are doing a Systematic Review, there is even software available that can help with the screening process. Splitting up the work and quickly capturing the reason for inclusion or exclusion.

Feel free to memail me for follow up questions!
posted by Gor-ella at 9:00 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: This is all great. I am now in contact with my reference librarian who, I believe, is negotiating with the vendors for Digital Dissertations. I will look into saving the searches. We're already using the jump to a specific page option but it's not ideal.

I'm using a shared Mendeley collection to manage the downloads and it has been amazing! I highly recommend it to anyone doing a meta-analysis. We tag with "eligible," "not eligible," "coded," "to code," etc.
posted by quiet coyote at 10:04 AM on July 18, 2014

Response by poster: I just got off of the phone with ProQuest. It looks like there is an option to export searches 100 results at a time to a variety of formats. For now, I think we're going to export to Mendeley and use a separate system for screening in there.
posted by quiet coyote at 1:17 PM on July 25, 2014

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