Statewide Electronic Resources Blog

Research in Context – New Gale database replaces InfoTrac Junior Text & Graphic Editions

Gale Cengage has expanded its “In Context” family of products to bring middle school (grades 6-8) resources into this student-friendly, mobile-responsive database named Research in Context. Research in Context.  Available on your Gale common menu and Galesites pages as of June 1, 2015,  Research in Context replaces and incorporates content from five Gale resources. Two of these, InfoTrac Junior Edition, and InfoTrac Junior Graphic Edition, are licensed statewide. Also included in RiC is content from 3 other Gale products not licensed statewide, Discovering Collection, Junior Reference Collection, and Student Resource Center Jr., all of five of which will no longer be available after September 30, 2015.

Below are answers to some questions that you might have about the introduction of Research in Context.

What does this mean for my library?

The MBLC statewide contract (funded by the MBLC and MLS with statewide and Federal LSTA funds) licenses two of the products that will be incorporated into Research in Context, InfoTrac Junior Edition, and InfoTrac Junior Graphic EditionResearch in Context will replace these two products as of October for All MLS member libraries. Between the end of May and the end of September, all MLS member libraries will see Research in Context available as an option on their Gale common menu (the menu that lists all of the Gale databases, such as when you are in one product and click on change databases) in addition to the two InfoTrac Junior Edition (text and Graphic editions).  This overlap will allow time for your staff to get familiar with the new product.

My library licenses Discovering Collection, Junior Reference Collection, and Student Resource Center Jr. directly from Gale, which I’ve already paid for.  Will Gale be issuing us any type of credit?

Yes. If your library purchases directly one of these three resources that will be also be merged into Research in Context, your library will receive credits for the unused portion of your subscription year. Gale is still working out the process for this and Gale and the MBLC will communicate that information in an upcoming message.

What does Research in Context include?

Research in Context covers the most-studied topics in literature, science, social studies, and U.S. and world history, as well as the social issues most relevant to this age group. It features:

*   Engaging reference, periodical, and multimedia content

*   Information from trusted sources like Gale, National Geographic, Scholastic and more

*   Alignment to national and state curriculum standards

*   New content written especially for middle schoolers including nearly 300 topic pages and overviews

Best of all, Gale’s Research in Context supports students’ workflow with a mobile-responsive design, optimized for any device and screen size, allowing students to search and find information easily on computers, tablets, and smartphones.

My library accesses the statewide resources, including Gale products from our Galesites web page.  Will Research in Context be available on that page as well?

Yes.  We will have Gale add that to the Galesites template. It will appear in the A-Z list as well as with the electronic resources by subject, K-12.  Note:  if your library does not use the standard, state-created Galesites page, Gale will not make any changes to your locally designed template. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this. If you aren’t sure what the locally designed template looks like, you can see a sample from the public portal (your own template will have your institution name on it).

Can I link directly to Research in Context?

Yes, you will be able and encouraged to link directly to Research in Context, especially adding it to your children’s webpages.  The product code for Research in Context is MSIC and you can find your link to it on the MBLC Link Generator.

When can I add a direct link to my library’s webpages for Research in Context and when will I need to remove my links for InfoTrac Junior Edition, and InfoTrac Junior Graphic Edition?

You can add direct links on your library’s web pages to Research in Context as of June 1, if that timing is best for you and your patrons.  However, you will need to do so no later than Oct. 1, when the links for InfoTrac Junior Edition and InfoTrac Junior Graphic Edition will be deactivated. By that time, you should also have deleted any links for these two discontinued products, since they will no longer be available.

 What type of training is available for Research in Context?

There is an on-demand tutorial for Research in Context, as well as a Research in Context Tip Sheet. An archive of the Gale-led Massachusetts only webinar held in June has been posted on the Gale MBLC webinar website.


This post was written by mheroux on July 7, 2015

Gale Cengage’s Responsive Design Platform Update: Moves “Search Within Results” Back to Tools Box

Gale Cengage’s responsive design platform went live April 2, 2015.

The new interface has now been tweaked to make it easier for users to “search within” results. Gale has now added back the “Search within results” option into the tool box on the right-hand side of the results screen, directly below the summary of results by type of publication.  This change is due to the overwhelming response from libraries that users could no longer find the “Search within results” functionality when it had been moved  to the main search bar at the top of the screen.  Having it only visible if users knew to click on the drop down arrow to the right of the search box was not at all intuitive for users.

Overall, the responsive design platform:

  • Creates a common user experience across GVRL,  InfoTrac and In Context (except Global Issues In Context) products)
  • Improves usability for both desktop and mobile researchers
  • Increases accessibility for those with disabilities like low vision or blindness

This post was written by mheroux on May 1, 2015

Enhanced Gale Access My Library App for Android Devices

The enhanced version of Gale’s Access My Library (AML) app is now available on Google Play for Android devices, as well as on iTunes for IOS. The two versions are in sync, meaning no matter what the device, users will find the same fast, helpful features. Already have AML? Users that downloaded the previous version will need to update to the new app.

Enhancements include a faster library search and a more intuitive resource display and more.  Users will find:

• An attractive new interface to spark user interest
• All local libraries — public, school, university, and more – displayed from one app. (No more downloading separate apps for different library types.)
• Driving directions to every library within the selected range
• “My Libraries”: users store multiple library links in the app
• “My Clippings”: users highlight and save a clipping (with citation)
• “My Articles”: users save an entire article to read or share later

For questions regarding Access My Library®, contact Gale Technical Support or call Gale at 800-877-4253.

This post was written by mheroux on May 1, 2015

Tips for Using Machine-Generated Citations

Tips for using  machine-generated citations:

Vendors of electronic resources that have user tools built into their products to easily create machine-generated citations include some form of a disclaimer with their citations, basically reminding the user that the generated citation is basically a guide. These citation generators utilize a wealth of metadata. While all vendors regularly communicate with publishers of style guides to generate useful citations, it is ultimately the responsibility of the user to compare the machine-generated citation with the latest version of the style guide that they are basing the citation on for the most current formatting conventions. In many cases it is fine as is, but this is another example of helping users to become more digitally literate and not just cutting and pasting information, whether it be a quote or the citation for it.

If you have questions or concerns about a citation in a particular product, the vendors are always happy to address them directly with you.  Contact information for statewide vendors is available on our MBLC website 24/7.

Database Citation examples

This post was written by mheroux on December 23, 2014

Highlights, Notes and Parenthetical Citations in Gale Cengage Products


Highlights and Notes is the perfect tool for anyone conducting research in Gale’s e-book or database products and needing to take notes without opening a separate program.  This valuable tool allows users to highlight text within an article (using various colors selected by the user), add notes to highlighted sections, and retrieve/utilize them from a new “Highlighted Articles” page.  Highlights and Notes can be easily viewed, printed, downloaded, or sent via email from within the product being used.

Follow these simple steps to use the Highlights and Notes tool.


  1. Select the text you’d like to save, then click Highlight
  2. Assign a color to the highlighted text, there are six options.
  3. To add Notes, click on the tab, enter the text and click “Save”
  4. To view all of your highlighted sections, click the Highlights and Notes button.
  5. The Highlighted Articles page shows all of your highlighted sections and notes, including the name of the source publications.

Parenthetical Citations

The highlighting feature will display the article name and the publication title when using the Highlighting feature in Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) in a folder called Highlighted Articles. Upon first release of the feature, using Gale’s citation tool, the researcher has the option to also create full citations, including date and page information with a choice between two citation formats – MLA 7th edition and APA 6th edition.  This  parenthetical citation feature will be added to other Gale products in the future.




This post was written by mheroux on December 17, 2014

This Web site, and other programs of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, is funded in part with funds from the
Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning.