Goodbye EBSCO, hello ProQuest Central

Online databases are a tool for students to utilize when writing scholarly papers or doing credible research. The Elton B. Stephens Company database will be unavailable for student use which raises concerns since nearly two-thirds of college students utilize this resource yearly. Cora Mark | Sun News Daily

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Elton B. Stephens Company is a collection of nearly 400 databases that a majority of students use in order to find credible information and sources for assignments and papers. Nearly two-thirds of college students use this source every year. 

This company has databases that range from e-books to e-journals. In 2018, about 650,000 students in Utah were unable to access this library database for almost a month. The reasoning behind this was from a group of parents who said the library was able to show unsuitable content to their children. 

After that time period of not being able to access this platform, the site was back up and running with adjustments on the keywords and content, again limiting some of those 400 databases. The rising worry is that students see and have access to content about subjects that are deemed unsuitable for viewers. Utah Tech University and other schools in Utah will lose access to EBSCO starting July 1. 

Emma Lanners, assistant librarian for open educational resources and graduate support, said she wants students to know that it will only be a select few of the databases that will be revoked.

Many of the state institutions are able to be renewed by a state contract, including Utah Tech. This time around with the renewal, it was unaffordable and unsustainable.

John Burns, associate librarian for reference and electronic resources, said the university will be going with a different company.

Burns said: “While we will lose some EBSCO databases for student research, the state instead is going with a competitor to EBSCO. We will have access to a database suite product called ProQuest Central.”

While EBSCO has more databases to access, ProQuest searches are more limited to a faster and quicker search such as options like relevance, oldest first or most recent first, oftentimes making the search faster. 

ProQuest also provides more primary source material, giving more archival and manuscript material. 

Databases are important to students and instructors because they can give first-hand, factual and reliable material to use. Access to these materials is always available, therefore giving unlimited access to research and project production while making it timely. With platforms like these two examples, having as many primary and secondary source materials makes doing research reliable and trustworthy. 

Caleb Ames, librarian and head of technical services, said once he is told, he will update the webpage to the databases to switch over any databases that have expired to their replacements from ProQuest. 

Utah Tech’s library staff is hoping for a seamless transition for these databases in the coming months, and hope it will be resourceful for students and staff in the coming years.