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Frequently Asked Questions

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) offers you an online collection of premier reference eBooks. You can search a single eBook, within a Subject, or across your library or institution's entire eBook collection.

Here are answers to some common questions to help you get started:

What is an eBook?

An electronic version of a book that can be viewed and searched online.

What kinds of eBooks 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: eBook 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?

eBook 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 eBooks. Why?

Because each library purchases its own eBook 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 single eBook?

By clicking on an eBook from the home page. This takes you to the eBook's Table of Contents, which you can expand to find individual articles and entries.

Can I view an entire eBook at once?

Yes. When you select an article from an eBook's Table of Contents and switch to the PDF view, you can then access the previous and next articles. Note that when you retrieve articles from your search results or your Saved Articles list, you are retrieving one article at a time.

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

Each entry in a book's Table of Contents corresponds to a document. Therefore, a document can be an entire chapter, a section within a chapter, or front or back matter text.

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

On the home page, eBooks that are part of a series display "Series" on the eBook cover. Selecting an eBook series causes the About this Series page to be displayed, where you can select a specific volume from the list provided to 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?

If you need to enter additional search criteria, use Advanced Search. If you are beginning research on a new topic, Subject Guide Search offers a good way to get started as it takes you to results about a topic, displays related subject terms and suggests preferred spellings. (Get more Search Tips.)

I'm reviewing my search results. What do all the icons/links mean? And how can I view an article?

Refer to the Search Results Help topic. To view an eBook article, simply click its title from your search results.

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 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 link 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. While viewing a specific article in TEXT view or from your search results or from your Saved Articles list, click the Bookmark link on the toolbar.

How do I cite the sources I've found?

This database will generate citations for you based on a format of your choice. Please note that while the data elements for the citations that the system generates have been formatted to meet the latest citation standards set forth by the respective agencies, these citations provide the available publication data for the document cited and should only serve as a guide and not as a replacement for the latest guidebooks – or those required by your instructor. Please refer to the provided MLA examples and APA examples for proper formatting.

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 exit this database?

Simply click the Logout in the upper right-hand corner.

How do I go to a different Gale database?

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 eBooks 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 database collections that can be included in a 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.