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Waidner-Spahr Library

JumpStart FAQs: Tips for Using JumpStart

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Top Five Tips for Using JumpStart

Here are some of our top tips for searching in JumpStart. 

#1 Use limiters to narrow your search.

JumpStart search refine panel You can limit your results either before your search, using the options at the bottom of the search screen, or after, using the left sidebar. With JumpStart you can narrow your search results to items from peer-reviewed journals or in the library catalog, with specific publication date ranges or of specific source types, and more.

For limiters with multiple options, you can click the check boxes to select more than one type or category. Then click "update" to apply the limits to your search results. As a shortcut, if you want only one of the options, click the text (which works as a link) instead of the check box.

Please note that if you modify your search text, only some of these options will be retained.

#2 Be aware that some limiters work better than others.

JumpStart limiters Since JumpStart pulls records from multiple databases, not all the limiters are applied uniformly. For example:

  • Not all items in English are coded with a language. Therefore, if you choose to limit your search to "English" you will exclude some English-language results. (Note that the option to limit by language is available on the initial search page, but not the search results screen.)
  • Subjects are not applied consistently between databases. If you want to do extensive subject-based search limiting, it is best to use an individual database. The subjects in JumpStart can be useful for your initial explorations of a topic, however.
  • Some eBooks are coded as "electronic resources" under source type. Therefore, to find eBooks click "show more" in the "Source Types" section on the left sidebar and select "electronic resources."

The top refining options, "Full Text" and "Peer Reviewed", are applied more consistently between databases, but may also contain some errors. The "Dickinson Library Catalog" option will replicate what is found in the library catalog, but applies a different (and often better) system of relevancy ranking.

#3 To search for a specific title or phrase, use quotation marks.

JumpStart sample search JumpStart searches for all your terms separately by default. If you are searching with a particular descriptive phrase or for a known title, it is often best to enclose it with quotation marks to get the most relevant results.

#4 Take advantage of the options to "Add to Folder" or "Export" and save what you find.

JumpStart add to folder JumpStart has an option for you to select results to add to a folder for temporary storage. Note that these will be deleted when your session ends, or if you stop using JumpStart for 10-15 minutes. If you want to save them for the future, you must sign in and create an account. Alternatively, you can use the "export" feature to send the bibliographic information to a reference manager like RefWorks if you have an account there. See our RefWorks guide for more information.

#5 Remember JumpStart does not search everything.

Even if you can't find what you are looking for in JumpStart, it might still be discoverable through another resource or with a different search technique. Try more specialized databases, WorldCat, or ask a librarian for assistance.