Tuesday, February 7, 2012

SD Library Challenge Lesson #4 - ProQuest

When I first clicked the link to the ProQuest resource through the SD State Library, the interface looked familiar (even though ProQuest had recently re-designed its user interface). I then went to our school's (USD) database list and entered ProQuest, and, indeed, the resources are identical! (As it turn out, USD has access to ProQuest thanks to the State Library of South Dakota!).

Even though I work at an institution that has access to this database, I am not extremely familiar with it because of my narrow discipline (Health Science). I decided to search for medical-related information, and was surprised at the wealth of full-text articles available. I searched the general term "bioinformatics," and the result list was long and detailed. But then I decided to try a more targeted search, so I typed in "ubiquitin," which is a protein that is the focus of some of our researchers. Surprisingly to me, there is a wealth of research articles available via ProQuest.

I am somewhat surprised at the depth of articles available on medical topics because ProQuest is not considered a "go to" database for these topics (I tend to direct patrons to PubMed or CINAHL first). This exercise helped to remind me that there are many other databases that apply to my subject area! The search interface is very familiar to those familiar with similar databases (convoluted, yes), and seems very straight-forward to navigate, but I imagine that many of these databases are not "intuitive" to library professionals and patrons that don't normally use these types of resources.

Since the beginning of the Challenge, I have tried to "Follow" the other participants' blogs (though the list keeps getting longer!), and it is fascinating to see all the variations on format and design! I see that some others, like me, have fallen behind, so this is truly an asynchronous experience. I wish there were enough time to read everybody's posts every day, but that would cut into my Facebook time ;-)
Seriously, I do hope to eventually connect with fellow "Challengees" on this project, and continue the explorations and collaborations beyond the scope of this activity.  Next year, I hope to attend SDLA conference for the first time - perhaps there can be an informal meeting of the "State Library Challenge Group?"

1 comment:

  1. Goatsucker, Ta da! ProQuest is here for all from SDSL! We like ProQuest for its breadth of coverage--popular, trade, & scholarly journals that can be read cover to cover if searched through the Publications tab. Most of your patrons will still use CINAHL & PubMed, but ProQuest is one more tool for your toolbox. We're glad you are appreciating the Challenge and your cohort (which, indeed, is asynchronous, but no worries). We are making note of a Challenge meeting at SDLA. :)