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Frequently Asked Questions

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) offers you a collection of premier reference books that you can view and search online. You can search a single book, within a Subject, or across your library or institution's entire GVRL book collection.

What kinds of books will I find in Gale Virtual Reference Library?

GVRL provides you with a database of encyclopedias and specialized reference source for multidisciplinary research as selected by your library or institution.

Note: GVRL book collections are customized for each library or institution. Refer to the next two questions for additional details.

How can I get a list of titles contained in this collection?

Book titles are displayed on the home page, categorized by broad subject area. You may also click the Title List link found below the GVRL product banner to view an alphabetical list of all titles in your library's collection.

When I use Gale Virtual Reference Library at a another library, there is a different list of books. Why?

Because each library purchases its own GVRL book collection, the content you find will vary at different libraries (for example, at your school or public library). This may cause your search results to be different even when using the same search criteria.

How do I browse a book?

By clicking on a book from the home page. This takes you to the book's Table of Contents, where you can:

What does the term document mean when used in these Help pages?

The term document refers to any content that you can select from your search results. Each document has a source citation, which includes its unique Gale Document Number.

You can also think of a document as an entry that you can select from the book's online Table of Contents. Therefore, a document can be an entire chapter, a section within a chapter, or front or back matter text, depending on how the book is digitally organized.

How do I know if a book is part of a series? How can I select a specific volume within the series?

On the home page, a "Series" banner appears on books that are part of a series. Selecting a series takes you to the About this Series page, where you can select a specific volume and go to its Table of Contents page.

How do I get to the different types of searches and the other tools available in this database?

Use the product banner (where you see the title of this database) at the top the page and the toolbar that is below it to navigate to the search pages, tools, etc.

Basic Search seems different than in previous versions of GVRL.

It is! The enhanced, proprietary Basic Search now searches a select range of fields for a broad, all-purpose search, giving you more results with a single query. You can perform a Basic Search from the search box in the product banner. You can also use Basic Search to search within a single subject by selecting a Subject from the home page and then entering your search terms in the Search within (Subject) box.

Note that you can get the same results by using the Basic Search index of Advanced Search.

Besides Basic Search, what other ways are there to search?

When you want to create a custom search, use Advanced Search. If you are beginning research on a new topic, Subject Guide Search offers a good way to get started by displaying related subject terms and suggesting preferred spellings. (Get more Search Tips.)

My results list is too long! How can I narrow this list?

You can limit a lengthy results list to more precisely target the type of articles you are looking for using the Limit Search sidebar in the left-hand margin. You can also change how you perform your search -- click here for more information.

What if I want to take an article with me? Can I print it? E-mail it? Download a copy? Read it with an eReader?

Yes! Use the article toolbar to print, e-mail, and download to an html or PDF file. You can also download an mp3 of the article and download it for use with an eReader.

I've found so many good articles that would help me with my research, but I can't keep track of them.

You may want to create a Saved Articles list so that you can "set aside" documents that interest you the most. Access your saved items by clicking the Saved Articles (# of items) link on the toolbar. From there you can print, e-mail, and download. Please remember that Saved Articles are not saved once you log off. Click the Bookmark tool on the toolbar if you want a more permanent way to "save" the information you find (Gale Bookmarks make use of the web site address, or URL, which allows you to return to the exact page).

I'm an instructor and I would like my students to access a specific article or link to a reading list I've created containing numerous articles.

This can easily be done by creating a Gale Bookmark. When in TEXT view, from your search results, or from your Saved Articles list, click the Bookmark tool on the toolbar.

How do I cite the sources I've found?

This resource will generate citations for you. Click Citation Tools on the Document toolbar or from the Article Tools drop-down list.

Can I use wild cards in my search? Does it matter if I capitalize the words I'm searching for? What is a "stop word"?

Find answers to these questions in the Search Tips.

How do I go to a different Gale resource?

Click More Resources in the upper right-hand corner to reveal links to Change Databases, and possibly other links that will take you to your library's website. The Change Databases link takes you to the Gale Databases Menu, which lists the Gale products to which your library subscribes.

I would like to search the books in this collection and periodical content at the same time so that my search results contain both reference sources and current periodical articles.

If enabled by your library, Gale Virtual Reference Library is one of many Gale resources that you can cross-search using Gale PowerSearch. Click Change Databases to go to the Gale Databases Menu, where you can select databases via their check boxes to cross-search. Then click Continue.

How do I contact Gale?

A Contact Us link is provided at the bottom of most screens when you are searching this database.