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MIT Libraries Staff Web

SpringShare tools documentation for library staff: A-Z Databases

Local MIT documentation for SpringShare products

Public Interface of A-Z Databases

This is what the public view of the A-Z Databases looks like

Public view of A-Z Databases, shows a list of databases with options to filter by subject, to search, or to filter by title first letter

You can use the filtering features, by letter, subject, or searching. In the image below, the results have been filtered to databases that start with “F.” 

Results from narrowing down the databases by title letter "f"

However, if you try to search within an already filtered list, you will only get results from the filtered list, not from the whole list of databases. In this case, searching for “compendex” in a filtered list by “F” results in “0 Databases found.”

0 results when a user attempts to use the search function and search "compendex" on an already filtered result, "F"

LibGuide Editor

How to add a database from A-Z Databases to a LibGuide

Springshare documentation on how to add a database to a LibGuide

To add a database to your LibGuide from the new A-Z Databases list, select the “Add/Reorder” button on the part of your guide you wish to edit, and then select “Database” from the dropdown menu that appears. A benefit to using this method is that if the title or description change, the information will automatically update in your guide; you do not have to maintain it.

In a libguide, selected "Add/ Reorder" button, and selected "Database" from the dropdown menu

Then you can search for a database in the A-Z list.

searching for a database in the a-z list to add to libguides 

Once you have selected the database you want, the record pulls up. You can see the description for the record, and a field where you can add your own description. 

After selecting the database, shows the database record with a field to enter in a new description

Adding your own description will change the description of the database for your guide and does not alter the description on the A-Z list. This also means that if the description of the database does change, your description will not change. 

adding in a new description for the database in the form

Your database will look like this in the public view of the guide.

Database added with a new description to libguide

Adding a database as your own asset

Assets are like making a copy of the database file. You have full control of the record and you can search for them to add over multiple guides. Unlike adding a database, the title or description will not update automatically if the database is updated. You will have to maintain the record on your own. However, you can make an update to your asset record and it will update all instances of the asset across all guides. 

To add an asset to your guide, select “Link” from the “Add/Reorder” dropdown in your guide.

"Add/Reorder" button in a libguide, with "link" selected from the dropdown

A pop-up that looks like the image below will appear, and you will need to fill in the name, the URL, and description. Not: In the image below the name and URL are already filled in, but this is not an auto-fill or a search. You will need to enter the name and URL on your own.

Adding a link to a libguide using the new get URL format. There is a title, URL and description field.

Once you have added in all of the information you need, you can save it and it will show up like this in the published version of the guide (linked name with a description underneath).

What the entry for a database as an asset looks like - linked title with a description below

Adding a new Friendly URL as a standalone link

You can use the new friendly URLs to make regular links in your guides. These links are not managed by A-Z Databases or your own assets. They are essentially single links, unattached to anything. These links will not change if the database is removed or the name changes. They will need to be updated manually.

To add a link to the text of your guide, select “Add/Reorder” and select “Rich Text/HTML” from the dropdown. 

In libguide, Rich Text/HTML selected from Add/Reorder dropdown menu

Write in the name of the link you want, and select the text you want to link. 

"Compendex" written in a rich text box and selected

Add in the friendly URL in the URL field, and click “Ok.”

Pop-up with link and display text

Adding a database widget to a LibGuide

How to add databases to a LibGuide in a widget

Springshare’s documentation on how to add databases to LibGuides as a widget

Database subject list widget

With the A-Z databases, you can add a widget with a list of databases to your guide. This list can be filtered by subject or keyword. With this feature, if anything changes to any of those databases, the widget will automatically update with it. So, if a database is removed from the A-Z databases, it will automatically be removed from the widget list too. The same is true if the database name or description changes. 

To add a widget of databases to your guide, go to Tools in the top navigation bar, and select “Widgets” from the dropdown.

Libguides top level navigation, a dropdown under tools and "widget" is selected

From the next page, select the “A-Z” tab.

Widgets page with several tabs at the top. The second tab from the left is labeled "A-Z List" and it is selected

On this page, you can set the parameters for your widget. You can scroll down to the subjects filter, and filter the list that way. 

In add a widget, with the subjects field dropdown showing. The first entry "Art & Architecture", is selected

You can also use the search to filter the list by search term. Keep in mind that this will only search the A-Z databases records, not any assets you or anyone else have created. 

On the A-Z List widget page there is a search section and a search term of "chemistry" in the search field

To show the descriptions of the databases in your list, you can check the “Display description box.”

On A-Z List tab for widgets, there is a section called "list format" and a checkbox that is checked which says "Display description", this checkbox is outlined

You can also limit the number of results using the “Number of results” field and entering in the number of results you want. 

A-Z List tab of widget page. The field number of results is outlined and there is a blank text space next to the field label

Once you have the list you want, copy the code from the “Embed code” field on the top right of the page. 

In the A-Z List Widget, look & feel with embed code on the right. The code is selected

Then, go to edit your guide and select the “Add/Reorder” button. Select “ Media/Widget” from the dropdown.

Editing a libguide, with Add/Reorder button selected, and "Media/Widget selected from the resulting dropdown.

In the resulting pop-up, paste the copied code into the “embed code” field in the “Create new widget tab” and add a name for your widget.

Add Media/Widget selected and the copied code is inserted into the "Embed code" field

The widget will look something like the image below. Note that the widget pictured does not have descriptions displayed. 

Public view of page after the widget is added

Adding a subject to your LibGuide

Adding a subject to a LibGuide

The new list of databases will have subjects attached to them. When a user filters the A-Z Databases list by subject, guides that are tagged with that same subject will show up in the right column of the results. 

Public view of A-Z Databases guide, filtered by a subject "arts & performing arts". On the right side of the page is a column with the heading "arts & performing arts guides."

To add or edit the subject of your guide, go into edit mode. Then, at the top on the left, under the “Last updated” and “URL” fields, there is a field called “Subject.” Click on the pencil icon next to this field.

LibGuide in edit mode, under URL and last edited information is a field that says "Subjects:" with a pencil/edit icon next to it

This will trigger a pop-up. The pop-up has a dropdown menu icon and asks you to make a selection. Click on the menu.

Pop-up called "Subject Associations" with a dropdown menu that says "please make a selection..."

From the dropdown menu, select the checkbox for all of the subject(s) that apply to your guide. It is most likely that your guide will only have one subject it relates to. Then, click “Save.”

Subject associations pop-up, with the "please make a selection" dropdown menu open and subjects shown with checkboxes next to them

A-Z Databases Documentation/Training

The LibGuides A-Z list provides:

  • The ability to find databases/major e-resources via search and browsing by subject
  • A persistent link for the resource, providing authentication if needed
  • A place to highlight/manage resource trials

Want to request a new resource be added to the A-Z list?

Order form for information resources

Want to request an edit to an entry in the A-Z list?

A-Z Databases: Requesting updates