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EH -- Electronic Databases by Subject: Supplemental Databases

This Library Guide contains a listing of electronic databases subscribed to by the Houston Cole Library of Jacksonville State University for study and research in the fields of language and literature.

Levels of Database Searching

Levels of electronic database searching

Electronic databases may be searched on three levels:

  • singly (native database)
  • in groups, provided they all are products of the same vendor (database cluster)
  • Gemfinder Discovery Search, which can simul-search multiple databases across different vendor platforms. 

Advantages of searching a native (single) database

  • smaller, more manageable number of search results
  • allows for more precise subject focusing, particularly in discipline-specific databases

Disadvantages of searching a native database

  • fewer search results and therefore fewer article abstracts and full text
  • greater possibility of missing useful articles because they are not published in a journal indexed in the database being searched

Advantages of simul-searching multiple databases by provider

  • more journals included in the search
  • larger number of search results
  • more article abstracts
  • more full text

Disadvantages of simul-searching multiple databases by provider

  • larger number of search results to evaluate
  • repetition of records in search results

Advantages of Gemfinder Discovery Search

  • permits simul-searching databases provided by multiple vendors 
  • includes more books in search results than native databases do
  • useful for finding information on very obscure topics
  • useful for finding a native database launch point when the location of needed information is unknown

Disadvantages of Gemfinder Discovery Search

  • not well suited for searching broad, heavily-researched topics (e.g., George Washington) 
  • number of search results harvested can be overwhelming
  • results harvested may have little or no relevance to the search performed
  • to both reduce results and improve relevance, may require more sophisticated search techniques than needed for native databases                                                                                                                






Supplemental Databases

These databases may be used for research in language and literature if the researcher wishes to extend the search for materials beyond the primary databases.  Unlike the primary databases, the databases in this list do not cover language and literature exclusively but instead cover a variety of subjects, among which are language and literature.  Since all are vended by EBSCOhost, if accessed through the Databases by Provider link these databases may be simul-searched as a group, or selectively.  Simul-searching is a good way to use supplemental databases to shore up the weaknesses of a primary database; for example, using Academic Search Premier, OmniFile Full Text Mega, and Professional Development Collection together with the MLA International Bibliography to compensate for MLA's deficiencies in abstract and full text availability.

Database Cross-Searching

To cross-search EBSCOhost, Gale/Cengage, or JSTOR databases:

1)  Go to the library's Electronic Resources page (

2)  Scroll down to Frequently Used Resources

3) Select the database vendor you wish to cross-search  

4) Follow instructions provided by the vendor


Beyond Databases

Many authors have journals or newsletters devoted to them, but these publications may not be indexed in a database.  A basic internet search can turn these up.  Many have contents pages, and even selective full text of articles, available online.  The search algorithm is simple.  In the search box of the internet search engine, type the name of the author, within quotation marks, followed by the word "society" (no quotation marks).  For example:

"john cooper powys" society

Whether the author's group calls itself an Association, a Circle, or a Society, within the results list the search brings up should be a link to that group; and connected to that link, access to resources not available through databases.