Exporting large record sets from EBSCOhost and ProQuest databases

ProQuest and EBSCOhost logos

ENHANCEMENTS HAVE BEEN rolled out to support the export of larger quantities of search results from databases on both the EBSCOhost and ProQuest database platforms.

Interest has been growing, amongst students and researchers, in the ability to export multiple thousands of records from two of the library’s most widely used database platforms.

EBSCOhost

When staff and students search on any of the databases on the EBSCOhost platform (such as Academic Search Complete, Business Source Complete or SportDiscus – with Full Text) the Share feature now includes the option to generate a downloadable set of search results, up to a maximum of 25,000 records in any one set (see illustration below).

Choosing that option loads a screen on which the requester can add a preferred email address and the format in which the records should be generated (such as a .ris file).

The 25k record threshold is in effect whether the search is carried out on a single EBSCOhost database or when searching several EBSCOhost databases in combination.

The Export Results option on the EBSCOhost platform

Once the requested records have been compiled, the requester will receive an email including a direct download link.

ProQuest

In order to take avantage of the full export options on the ProQuest platform (which provides access to the ASSIA [Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts] and IBSS [International Bibliography of the Social Sciences] databases amongst many others) staff and students need to create and then log in to their PQ My Research account (see illustration below).

The Sign into My Research option on the ProQuest platform

Once logged in to My Research, it’s possible to export a total of 10 thousand records in a single set.

The 10k record threshold is in effect whether the search is carried out on a single ProQuest database or when searching several ProQuest databases in combination.

When a results set contains fewer than 10k records, the Export Results feature is available (see illustration below). If a search returns more than 10k records, the Export Results option is disabled.

A display of a results set from a database on the ProQuest platform

Licensing restrictions mean that records in some of the databases provided through the ProQuest platform are not available for export. This can be an issue when searching across multiple databases on the ProQuest site simultaneously.

When that occurs attempts to export the results will generate a pop-up message indicating that: “Your selection includes one or more articles that can’t be included in your request” (see illustration below).

A message indicating that a result set contains records that cannot be exported from the ProQuest platform

There is no option which allows the automatic removal of the records in the set of search results preventing the export. However, clicking or tapping the ‘question mark’ icon in the top-right of the pop-up message (see illustration above) will display a list of the databases from which the export of records is restricted.

To remove the offending records from the export, first select the Database facet from the result set, and choose the More option (see illustration below).

The Databases facet in a result set on the ProQuest platform

In the Database pop-up, select the Exclude option for export-restricted databases and choose Apply (see illustration below).

The option to exclude individual databases from a results set on the ProQuest platform

Once any unexportable database records have been removed, the Export results option will open a new pop-up. Having read the ‘Terms and Conditions’, select the required export format, choose whether or not to include Abstracts, and click or tap Accept.

The requested records will not be immediately available for export, as the record set needs first to be processed on ProQuest’s servers.

To retrieve the records, access the My Research area, and select the Searches tab (see illustration below).

The Searches tab of the My Research area on the ProQuest platform

Newly requested exports will display and may indicate that ProQuest is still “Processing Results…” (see illustration below).

A set of requested search results being processed for export on the ProQuest platform

Once the processing has completed, the Exports Results option will be activated for that results set (see illustration below). Selecting the Export Results option will trigger the download of the matching saved search items in the selected format.

The Export Results option in the Searches tab of the My Research area on the ProQuest platform

There is no need to remain logged into the ProQuest platform while a set of search results is processed. The next time that a student or researcher logs into their My Research area, previously saved searches will be listed in the Searches tab, along with the Export Results option.

ProQuest apply a limit of two such large exports per day. Additional search results sets can be saved in the Searches tab for future export.