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Arkansas State University

OneSearch: Preview Panel

Use this guide to learn how to find books, journal articles, magazines, dvds, pretty much anything using OneSearch..

Record Page

On the result page, you can click on the title of any result to go to that item's page. This may take you to the Library Catalog or a database outside of OneSearch. But before doing so, click on the preview link. Here you will find a ton of important and useful information about the resource before ever having to open it. Viewing an item's preview panel is a great way to determine if something is actually relevant or not without having to leave OneSearch.

To view the preview panel, click on the "Preview" link at the bottom of an entry on the results page:

Preview Panel

Clicking on the Preview will expand the listing, giving you more information about the item such as: date, subject areas, abstract, publisher, journal title etc.


Preview Panel Example

Why Does the Preview Panel Matter?

Let's look at three sources that come up if you do a search for "America":

America Can America Compete? America, America
America Can America Compete? America, America

Can you tell just by looking which resource is the best for a research paper on American history? Are they all? None?

The first thing you might notice is that the items have different call number ranges. The A-State Library is arranged by subject according to the Library of Congress Classification. Because these are different call numbers, these books are probably about different things. Let's look at the subjects area of each item's preview pane to verify:

America by Stephen Vincent Benet

America Subjects

We can see that the subject for this book is United States - History. This matches the subject assigned to the E178 call number: United States - History - General. This means that this would be a good book for an American history paper.

Can America Compete?

Can America Compete Subjects

This book has four subjects assigned to it - all having to do with industry and manufacturing. This would make it a great book on the history of industry in the United States, but probably not a good research for a paper on American history.

America, America

America, America Subjects

Every subject heading for this item contains the word "drama." This would be a great resource for theatre, but not a strong resource for American history.