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Waidner-Spahr Library

Please see our Library Services Updates: Summer & Fall 2021 website for the most up-to-date information about library services.

JumpStart & Library Catalog FAQs: JumpStart

What is JumpStart?

JumpStart Logo- Click on this image to access JumpStartJumpStart allows you to search of the library catalog and many library databases to find books, articles, films, and more.

How can I quickly learn more about how to use JumpStart?

Questions? Ask!

ask@dickinson.libanswers.comAsk a Librarian, Text us: 717-366-6623

Circulation Desk:, 717-245-1397

Archives & Special Collections:


Provide JumpStart / Catalog Feedback

JumpStart FAQs

What am I searching when I use JumpStart?

JumpStart searches our entire catalog and over half of our databases. It includes different types of sources including books, book chapters, journal articles, magazine articles, films, and images.

It covers diverse subject areas, and usually has something for everyone, regardless of their research topic.  

Advanced researchers should also search subject-specific databases. Librarians recommend that you search these databases directly for comprehensive coverage of the topic or resource type.  

What does JumpStart help me do?

  • Begin research on an unfamiliar topic.
  • Get started when you don't know which database to choose.
  • Conduct interdisciplinary research.
  • Search multiple databases simultaneously.

When is it better to use an individual database instead of JumpStart?

  • To take advantage of special functions (for instance, the “times cited” feature in Web of Science, or the ability to limit by historical time period in Historical Abstracts).
  • To get results from one subject-specific database only.
  • To expand your search beyond databases in JumpStart.

Librarians recommend that you search these databases directly for comprehensive coverage of the topic or resource type.  

Should I sign in to my account while using JumpStart?

Jumpstart and the library catalog are now integrated into the same system, so if you log in to JumpStart, you will be able to easily access your library account, see what books you have checked out, etc.

Signing in to JumpStart can also help you to organize your research process!  Use the pin icon to add selected results to a folder associated with your Dickinson College library account.  Whenever you log in to your account, you'll see the items you saved.  Similarly, you can save specific search queries to your account, which will make it easier to review new results for searches you do often. You can also use the "export" feature to send the bibliographic information to a reference manager like Zotero. See our Zotero guide for more information.