March 2014

Research Databases · Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between using a database and searching Google?
Information in databases has been reviewed and edited by experts and comes from reliable, authoritative sources. Using a database instead of Google gives you search results that are accurate, objective, and current.
Is there any charge for using them?
No. The Library provides the databases free of charge to our customers. All you need to use them is your library card.
How do I access them from home?
You must have your Library card number and PIN to access these resources from your home, office, or school. Each database has different requirements, so instructions may vary. Your Library card number is the eight-digit number below the barcode on the back of your red Library card. Unless you have changed it, your PIN is the last four digits of the phone number that you gave us when you applied for your card.
Which browser and settings do I need to access the databases?
If you are using a browser that is more than a couple of years old, you might want to consider upgrading to a newer version. Many of the databases use cookies and/or Javascript, so you’ll probably want to have those enabled. If you are using Internet privacy software, be aware that one of the things it can do is block referring URLs. If you are having trouble accessing a database from home, you may need to configure your privacy software to allow these.
I followed all of the instructions on the screen and still can’t connect. What’s the problem?
If the error message is about your Library card number or PIN, call the Circulation Services Department at 513-369-6900. If your card number and PIN are accepted, but the database asks you for another username and password, see the note above about Internet privacy software. Still having trouble? Email us and our staff will be happy to assist you.
Can I email the results to myself?
Yes, most databases will let you email articles to yourself. Many also let you save your search results to a special folder, create bibliographies, and will generate citations for you.
Why can’t I use some of the databases from home?
The licensing restrictions of a few vendors prevent us from offering our customers “remote access” to the resource.
What does it mean when a database offers the “full-text” of an article from a magazine or newspaper?
Full-text means the entire article, not just a summary of it, is available online.
What’s my library card number?
Your library card number is located under the barcode on the back of your library card. Your PIN is the last four digits of the phone number you gave us when you applied for your card.
I lost my Library card; what should I do?
Stop by your local branch or call 513-369-6900 and our staff will be happy to help you get a replacement library card.
I searched for information in all these places, and I still can’t find what I’m looking for. What now?
Visit our Ask a Librarian webpage for a list of ways you can get assistance from our staff.