This post is the 2nd in a 2-part series comparing the advantages and disadvantages of our two main journal article databases.
Comparing search results
The one big difference between the two databases is the number of results returned. If you were to conduct a non peer reviewed, non full text search for the term ‘leadership’ as a subject in EBSCO you would get a return of approximately 48,000 results. Compare this to the 158,000 that ProQuest provides and you can see the large difference. When not using the search options, ProQuest suffers from the sheer number of sources that it has available. In order to get the best from it, you need to learn to apply these search options at the beginning of the search. This is not necessarily a bad thing and will enable you to better understand the academic research process.
Given the fact that I use these databases every day, I believe that ProQuest offers more in terms of initial usability than EBSCO. For those who are unfamiliar with database searching, I feel that EBSCO provides a steep learning curve while taking the time to explore ProQuest will lead to increased confidence and understanding. As a general rule, I always begin my search in ProQuest and then take what I have found and apply this knowledge to EBSCO. In this way, I find the search in EBSCO less of a daunting task.
Ultimately you will make your own decision based on your own search patterns but I think that it is very important to mention that there is no reason to choose one database over the other. Both deserve your equal attention in terms of searching for source material and the information contained in each will certainly add to your knowledge, understanding and personal development.
Do you prefer EBSCO or ProQuest? Let us know in the comments section below.