How to search MetaLib by howardtheduck


									How to search MetaLib
MetaLib is a federated search tool that enables you to search your favourite databases simultaneously. You can use QuickSearch to search across a set of pre-defined databases, or you can use PowerSearch to select up to 10 databases in a subject area.

Accessing MetaLib

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Click on Articles/Papers (MetaLib) on the library home page, or go directly to: (Note: you may encounter search boxes on other library web pages that utilize MetaLib, e.g. OneSearch, subject guides) If you are off campus, you will need to set up VPN/proxy server to access MetaLib. Instructions are available at:

Which resources work with MetaLib?

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Many library resources are fully supported by MetaLib. You can search the database and display the results within the MetaLib environment. Some resources are Search & Link only. You can search the database within MetaLib but the results are displayed outside MetaLib in the native interface. Other resources are not supported by MetaLib at all. You can still access these databases from the library home page by clicking on e-Resources then Indexes & Databases.

QuickSearch offers the fastest and easiest-to-use method of cross-database searching in MetaLib. You can choose from a number of general and discipline-based QuickSets with pre-assigned databases.

HowtoSearchMetaLib.pdf (August 30, 2007)


Follow the steps below to use QuickSearch to find information about bridge collapse.

1. Choose a QuickSet

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To select a QuickSet, click the radio button. To see the databases for any given QuickSet, click on the name of the QuickSet. To learn more about a specific database, click on the icon next to the database.

2. Enter your search terms

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Keywords are automatically combined using AND (i.e. searches all of the words). Use “ ” around phrases (e.g. “bridge collapse”) Use ? for truncation (e.g. engineer? will search engineer, engineers, engineering) To search specific fields (e.g. subject, title, author, year), click on the Advanced tab.

3. Click “GO”

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Watch while MetaLib searches your databases. You will see the progress from “searching” to “fetching” to “done” for each database. Note that for Search & Link databases, MetaLib will show you how many results you can expect to find, but can’t pull the results into the final “QuickSearch Results” screen.

For best results, wait till MetaLib finishes searching and fetching for you, at which point it will show you a “QuickSearch Results” screen with all the results.

HowtoSearchMetaLib.pdf (August 30, 2007)


4. View QuickSearch Results

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There are 3 displays for viewing results: brief (citation), table (author, title, year and database only) and full (most detailed). UBC eLink is available in all 3 views. You can sort results by Title, Author, Year or Database (default sort is by Rank based on the frequency of your search terms). To review results broken down by database, click on Summary. To view results from Search & Link databases, click on Search & Link Results.

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From the total number of results found, MetaLib will initially display the first 30 citations from each database. To page through these results, click on Next. To retrieve additional results, click on retrieve more. MetaLib will go back to the databases and fetch 10 more citations from each database and add them to the original set of results.

5. Limit your results

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MetaLib clusters results by Topics, Dates, Authors, Journal Titles and Databases. You can expand each list by clicking on the double-down arrow. Topics are generated by special software that looks for keywords and word frequency in the results you have retrieved. Clicking on the + sign will narrow a topic further.

HowtoSearchMetaLib.pdf (August 30, 2007)


QuickSearch is a great place to start your research; PowerSearch offers even more options for searching. You can use PowerSearch to:

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Select a specific subject area (e.g. Environmental Studies) and format (e.g. articles, ebooks, newspapers/magazines), and then choose the databases you wish to search. Select a broad QuickSet (e.g. Newspapers) just as you do in QuickSearch but then you choose the databases you wish to search. Find specific databases by title (e.g. Web of Science), vendor (e.g. EBSCO), subject (e.g. Medicine), keyword (e.g. engineering), or a combination. Note: The real benefit to MetaLib is searching across databases. If you only want to search one database, search it directly to take advantage of database-specific search features like subject vocabulary, limits, etc.

Let’s look at the first option in more detail by searching for information about oil spills and bird wildlife.

Subject searching using PowerSearch
1. Select a Subject (e.g. Environmental Studies). 2. Select a Format (e.g. to restrict your search to journal articles only, select articles). 3. Select/de-select the databases you want to search. Remember 10 is the maximum! 4. Type in your search terms, and click the button


To search for multiple formats at the same time (e.g. articles and books), select ALL. Then choose the appropriate resources, e.g. Academic Search Premier for articles, UBC Library Catalogue for books.

In PowerSearch, you can view results from each database separately by clicking on results by database. In QuickSearch, you can see how many results there are by clicking on Summary but not view them separately.


HowtoSearchMetaLib.pdf (August 30, 2007)


Emailing/Saving Results
You can select results for emailing or saving in both the QuickSearch and PowerSearch modules. 1. From the results screen, click on the folder icon for every record you’d like to save.

2. Click on My Research to work with your selected results.

3. Records are transferred to a folder called Basket in the e-Shelf section under My Research. Select the records on your e-Shelf that you want to email or save by clicking the check-box to the left of the citation (or click Select all). 4. Click on the Save/Email selected results link.

Caution! The e-Shelf and My Research spaces are not permanent; results are stored here only during a session and will disappear after you log out or get timed out.

HowtoSearchMetaLib.pdf (August 30, 2007)


5. A pop-up window called “Selected Records” will appear with brief details of the records you have selected.

6. Emailing and Saving Results a. To email results, click on the Send button. Another pop-up window will appear with boxes for email address, subject, and notes. b. To save results, click on the Save button. Another pop-up window will appear with record format and encoding type options. Records are saved to your computer. The saved file can then be saved to another drive or imported into RefWorks.

To import citations into RefWorks
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Use the Save feature in MetaLib (see above). In the Record Format drop-down menu, select Citation Manager. Select Save and choose location. (The file name will have an ".end" extension.) Log in to your RefWorks account. Click on References at the top left and select Import from the drop-down menu. In the Import Filter/Data Source drop-down menu, select RIS Format. In the Database drop-down menu, select Metalib (Citation manager). Click the Browse button next to the Import Data from the following Text File box and find the file on your computer. 9. Click on Import.

More help
For more information about MetaLib, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please see our MetaLib help site at: Questions, comments, suggestions? Please email

HowtoSearchMetaLib.pdf (August 30, 2007)


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