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The following section contains subjective comments about the system that represent our editor's opinions, and should not be viewed as fact. Editor's opinions include positive and negative judgments about the product written in consideration of wider context, including related products and the industry at large. Further subjective information is presented in clearly labeled "Editor's Notes" throughout the report.
A product of EBSCO publishing, EBSCOhost offers a la carte subscriptions to over 150 databases. Each database provides access to a subset of the total information available from EBSCOhost, including peer-reviewed journals, general media publications, monographs and conference proceedings. With holdings that range from historical newspapers and magazines to cutting-edge scientific treatises, EBSCOhost hopes to appeal to a very wide range of researchers.
The broad data coverage is supplemented with excellent full text availability. Even licensed databases such as MEDLINE that do not include full text will provide a link if the full text is available to EBSCOhost through any other source. Extensive full text coverage is EBSCOhost’s greatest advantage.
As a search tool, EBSCOhost has been designed for broad usability. The extensive catalog of social science and popular media resources testify to the scope of their collection, and the search interface itself does not require any expertise whatsoever to use. Unfortunately, the wide focus of the service means that features useful to patent searchers are often absent. For example, the results list can only be sorted by three criteria: Date, Source, and Relevancy. The Relevancy option highlights a point of the system that users should bear in mind: many features are, by default, sorted by the proprietary relevancy rankings or Subject categories generated internally by EBSCO. Searchers unwilling to trust EBSCO to determine the importance of their results should select one of the other two sort criteria.
Bearing the limitations of the interface in mind, users requiring broad coverage and deep full text access will find EBSCOhost a very competitive provider.