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An introduction to library databases

Advantages of personal accounts

Having your own account is usually not required for searching library databases, and more often than not, access to the full-text depends on being either physically located at the university or the HSR, or being authenticated with the university proxy server. In fact, having a personal account does not always guarantee access to content.

Nevertheless, there are still advantages to creating personal accounts in individual databases. These advantages often are that users can:

  • Download e-books to tablets and other devices for temporarily reading them offline, much like the electronic version of a book loan.
  • Bookmark and annotate content and those bookmarks will be available in future sessions.
  • Save searches and create content alerts based on topic, author, or new issues of selected e-journals.

For all of these purposes, the system will need you to log in with a specific identity. Again, having an account might not facilitate access to full-text content, and such access is often provided without the need for a specific ID.

There are technologies that would allow the university to provide your ID and authenticate you into many of these databases without you having to create an account or remember another username and password. This has yet to be implemented at WMU, and no one awaits it more eagerly than the WMU library staff. Meanwhile, the choice of user name and password for these databases is up to each user, but we strongly recommend using your WMU email address for both username and email. This will make it easier for the library to help you troubleshoot in the event of a problem with your account.

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