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FAQ: Databases

Q. What is the best database?

This depends on what you're looking for! And, most research requires searching in more than one database.

For further assistance, stop by the Reference Desk, call the Desk at 406-243-6866, or use the chat service or email a message with your specific question. The chat/email option appears in the lower right corner of the library web pages. The Desk, phone, and chat hours are 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Email messages are responded to from within 24-48 hours.

Q. I cannot access a title from EBSCOhost ebooks. What do I do?

EBSCOhost ebooks may have a limit on the number of users who can read a title at a given time. You will see a message if copies are already in use. Users are able to view titles online through the PDF Full Text link.

To download the full title, a user needs to register for a free EBSCOhost account and also have Adobe Digital Editions or equivalent software installed. See instructions at

If you continue to have issues, please contact the library with a description of the problem. For example, what steps did you take and what screen are you seeing at the time of the issue.

Q. My Ebook Central account is no longer working...what do I do?

Ebook Central offers personal accounts to users for functions like keeping a bookshelf of saved items and downloading content, etc. Effective 8/1/19, the library moved to a new Ebook Central url and patrons are now required to register on the new site at

Patrons who had a previous personal account with bookshelf items can request that they be moved to their new account. Please send your request to

Be sure to include your old and new user names. Use the text: Please move the saved bookshelf items from Ebook Central site umontana to Ebook Central site msoumt for the following user: New msoumt username: Example123 Old umontana username: Ex1234 

If you don't know your old user name, send an email to with a request for help.

Q. How do I get the full text of an article in PubMed?

PubMed contains over 29 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE and other sources. PubMed does not include the full text of journal articles; this is provided through outside sources.

A good practice is make sure you are set up to search UM’s library collections in PubMed so you can more easily obtain full text. This can be accomplished by accessing PubMed through the custom, institution-specific link posted to the library’s database page; look under 'P' to get to PubMed or go here.

Alternately, a user may add the University of Montana to their personal PubMed account under My NCBI>My NCBI Site Preferences. Find University of Montana-Missoula in the Outside Tool Preferences.

Once associated with the UM library, you should be able to view a maroon "University of Montana" button in the top right corner of a PubMed record, that is a pathway to check for article availability in the library’s collections. Note the button displays regardless of whether the library can supply the full text of an item.


Should the library be unable to locate a full text source for you, a link to an interlibrary loan request form will display for your convenience.


PubMed records often display logos/links to additional publisher sites, such as the black/white DeG logo next to the maroon "University of Montana" button in the screen grab above. These links may or may not provide access based on a number of factors. Some articles may be free to view, but others may require an institutional subscription or that the user be properly recognized with a NetID login. When in doubt, it’s best to use the "University of Montana" button to check for full text sources and to be properly authenticated for access.

More details about obtaining the full text of articles through PubMed is available here.

Q. I can no longer access an ebook from the R2 Library site. How do I regain access?

The R2 Digital Library is a patron-driven acquisitions collection that allows our users to access a title up to 3 times total before the library must purchase it or lose access. Titles that have exceeded the allotted number of uses will display a message to this effect. Do contact the library through the Request Access button from the R2 site to recommend a title to the library for purchase.

Be sure to check OneSearch for alternate sources or formats of the book or place an ILL request to borrow a print copy from another library.

Q. Are UM users able to buy inexpensive paper copies of Springer e-books?

Yes, the publisher Springer has a service called MyCopy where users can place an order for a softcover edition of an e-book on the Springer site for $24.99 and have it shipped to their mailing address.The service is limited to the 2005-2015 Springer e-book collection titles owned by the library.

A quick guide to the service is available here.

To browse available titles, visit the Springer E-books platform.

Deselect Include Preview-Only content to browse e-books owned by the library.

Include preview content only