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EBSCOhost Offers RSS Alerts & Visual Search

It looks like EBSCOhost is offering a couple of new search enhancements: RSS Alerts for saved searches and a visual search interface. EBSCO has some great medical and business databases, many of which are available freely to Wisconsinites via Badgerlink.

Visual search: This type of search is great for the visual learner. Search results are grouped in circles within circles using Grokker technology. See the screen shot - a picture is worth a thousand words. To access, click on the "visual search" tab on the main EBSCOhost screen.

RSS Alerts: I'm a big fan of setting up alerts so that I'm automatically notified each time content that interests me is added to a database. Several other databases, including Westlaw and Lexis, do this by delivering results via email. EBSCO has done it one better by offering delivery via RSS. Very nice.

I warn you that setting up an alert in EBSCOhost is not for the novice. First you will need to sign up for your own account. Just click on the "Sign into MyEBSCOhost" under the logo at the top left. You'll be prompted to register.

Then run a search using Advanced Search. In the search results area, click on the "Search History/Alerts" tab. Here you will see a list of your searches. Below the tabs, there is a line of links. Click on the one that says "Save Searches/Alerts" Complete the form selecting "Alert" in the "Save Search As" section. This will give you the option to save it via RSS. Clicking save will bring up a new screen with the URL for the alert's RSS feed.

I'm not sure why they made it so difficult to set up, but it's nice that it is there, nonetheless.

Source: The Distant Librarian