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Input to Implementation: Making Online Databases Easier to Find

The Libraries’ Counting Opinions survey provides staff with feedback, directly from users, on how experiences with the Libraries can be improved. 'Accessing an online database provided by the Libraries," is one priority area respondents to the survey identified as an opportunity for improvement. Staff considered various starting points, number of steps involved and possible errors users may experience to see where people were having the most trouble. While considering the relevant data, staff was surprised to uncover that many users were having trouble simply locating databases on the Libraries’ website and were typing the name of their desired database into one of the search boxes presented on the home page. The usability study showed that 60% of users who visit our website were seeking databases or journal articles and that the Quicklinks list of databases was one of the two most-visited spots on our website. Results of this recent usability study, along with this data, led to the addition of the IEEE, JSTOR, PubMed, and ScienceDirect databases to the Quicklinks list of databases on the homepage. Users who wish to continue to use the search feature to discover databases will notice that the number of steps needed to reach the desired database will be reduced. The Libraries hopes that, as a result of this addition, use of the Quicklinks will continue to increase, and that individual searches to find databases will decrease. No matter how you prefer to access databases, you will now notice shorter routes to your desired destination.

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