Statewide Electronic Resources Blog

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

Topic Finder – Gale Cengage Visual Search Tool Replaces Term Clusters

Topic finder is the new name for the Term Clusters  searching tool available  in Gale Cengage’s periodical resources that generates a visual representation of search results by topic and subtopic.
A user can begin a search using Topic Finder from the gold tool bar at the top of the screen, or apply the visual tool to view results from a search in progress from the left hand sidebar where other limiting options appear.

Like term clusters, topic finder returns a wheel or circular visual display, with an option to alternatively pull up a tile display.  Either choice results in a heat map, with larger segments (darker reds and oranges)  representing the more popular and frequent terms that match your results, while smaller segments)  yellows and greens represent fewer hits on those terms. In the tile view, clicking on the large tiles enables the user to view narrower terms.

Topic Finder analyzes key aspects of results, including the first 250 words of a full-text article, article titles, and subject headings. Citation only results are also evaluated.

wheel and tile views

wheel and tile views



This post was written by mheroux on December 3, 2014

Promote Gale resources with free mobile apps from Access My Library

  Access My Library (AML), the Gale Cengage free mobile app has been recently updated and is better and easier to use than ever.  Formerly requiring separate apps for different kinds of libraries for Apple devices, now one mobile app does it all regardless of type of library!*  With AML, your residents and students gain access to statewide and locally licensed Gale holdings whenever they are on the go, as close as the kitchen using a recipe from the Culinary Arts Collection such as a gluten free maple caramel apple tart or wandering around Boston with visitors and need to check your Fodor’s Boston for inspiration.

To find out more about using and downloading the app, you can always find it on our link generator for your library, or go directly to Gale’s Access My Library app page.  Also, for questions regarding Access My Library®, contact Technical Support  at or call Gale at 800-877-4253.

Some of the enhancements you will find with the new app:

  • 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.) Schools still need to contact Gale prior to installation.
  • 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

*Please note: Apple device users of earlier versions of specific apps by type of library do need to install the new one size fits all app!  Google play apps for Android users are still specific by type of library.



This post was written by mheroux on December 3, 2014

Term Clusters – New Gale Searching Tool Replaced by Topic Finder

Term Clusters has been replaced by Topic Finder.  Term clusters, or visual search results, allow users to discover the context of their search term and uncover hidden connections.  The Term Clusters tool generates a visual representation of your results by topic and subtopic based on an analysis of frequently occurring and related terms. This allows users to hone in on targeted topics, envision connections between topics, and create new paths of inquiry.

Term Clusters analyzes key aspects of results like the first 250 words of a full-text article, article titles, and subject headings. Citation only results are also evaluated.

Why Use Term Clusters?

Viewing a term cluster allows users to visualize research connections they may not have considered.  For example, after running a term cluster, a user may uncover multiple topics on the inner and outer rings that can be compared to one another.

To begin a search: When users have a broad idea of a topic they want to investigate or are having trouble coming up with a research topic, they can click the term clusters search from the gold toolbar. After entering a general term,users will be presented with a term cluster that provides a wealth of potential topics.

After getting results back from a search: When a search provides a large number of results, users can click the link from the left hand sidebar into term clusters. Then users can use the inner and outer rings to hone in on more specific sets of results.

See also: Term Clusters Tip Sheet

Watch an archived Massachusetts Webinar on Term Clusters.


This post was written by mheroux on June 3, 2014

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