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Friday, September 04, 2015 

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Frequently Asked Questions about the databases

What are research databases?
The databases provided here are electronic resources for researching a variety of topics including the arts, biography, business, current events, education, health and medicine, history, science, and social issues. Magazine and newspaper articles from both popular and scholarly sources, encyclopedia entries, statistics and e-books are among the resources included in the databases.

Who may use the databases?
The databases are available for use by anyone at any Martins Ferry Public Library location. Card holders from any Ohio Public Library may also access many of the databases from home or office computers. A few of the databases require a Martins Ferry Public Library card for access, and some of the databases can only be accessed from inside the Library.


Is there a charge to use the databases?
There is no charge to use the databases. They are paid for by your tax dollars! If you use Library computers to access the databases and print information, there is a charge for the printed pages. Pages may be printed from our black-and-white printers for $.20 each. If you prefer to save information that you find in the databases, you may purchase a blank disk from the Library for $.50. Or you can have the articles emailed to your email account. You are welcome to bring in your own disks or thumb drives.


How do I access the databases from outside of the Library?
A valid library card from any Ohio Public Library will permit you to access the databases provided by OPLIN. The databases that have been purchased by the Martins Ferry Public Library require a Martins Ferry Public Library card.

Begin by clicking on the name of the database you wish to access. You will be taken to a page of the OPLIN website that will ask you to select your Ohio public library from a drop-down menu of options. Type your corresponding library card number (with no hyphens or spaces) in the area provided. Some of the databases simply ask for your zipcode.

How can I get a Library card to use the databases?
Local residents may visit any Martins Ferry Public Library location, including the bookmobile, to apply for a library card.

Why can't I access AncestryPlus from home?
Database vendors control whether a particular database is accessible outside the Library. Some information publishers choose not to sell that service to libraries, preferring to force individuals or businesses to maintain their own subscriptions. When remote access is a contract option, Martins Ferry Public Library will provide that access.


What is a citation?
A citation offers bibliographic information about a resource (title, author, publication date, etc.) but does not make the resource itself available.

What is an abstract?
An abstract is a summary of the contents of a resource or an excerpted selection from a resource.

Why isn't everything available in full text?
Copyright and licensing restrictions generally determine which resources can be stored in databases as full text articles.

How can I find a resource that is not available in full text?
If you locate a useful citation or abstract, print or save the bibliographic information. Check the online catalog to see if the Library owns the print resource. If the Library does not own the resource, ask a staff member to assist you with an Interlibrary Loan request. You may also contact the Reference Librarian and request the item(s).

How do I cite resources from databases?
Complete bibliographic information can be obtained from a resource's entry in your search results list. Many databases will even provide a sample citation format at the end of the article.

How can I get help with the databases?
If you are using Library computers, ask the Reference Librarian for assistance with the databases. The Reference Librarian will be happy to help you access and can also direct you to the best sources for your particular research topic.

If you are accessing from outside the Library and need assistance, contact the Reference Librarian at 740-633-0314 or by email.


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SEO Regional Library Center

Martins Ferry Public Library
20 James Wright Place - PO Box 130
Martins Ferry, Ohio 43935
Phone: 740-633-0314
Fax: 740-633-0935
Yvonne Myers, Director