Share Our Strength

EBSCO provides information solutions for research and evaluation

At a Glance

Share Our Strength
Washington, D.C.

Institution Type:   Corporations
Related Products:   EBSCO Discovery Service

Overview

Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit headquartered in Washington, D.C., is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives.  As part of the No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America, Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters® teaches families at risk of hunger how to get more food for their money and better nourishment from those foods. In 2012, Cooking Matters purchased two EBSCOhost research databases—Academic Search Complete and SocINDEX. These databases provide researchers with evidence-based content which they use to conduct literature reviews, revise the Cooking Matters curriculum, and guide strategy decisions. The program has also implemented EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) to solve a unique research challenge. By providing searchable metadata associated with tens of thousands of journals, magazines, and books, including content from other information partners, EDS is helping Cooking Matters to identify valuable new electronic resources to purchase.

We value research and making sure that our program is very evidence-based, and we wanted to publish more research and be more informed in the area in which we work. EBSCO came up as the most cost effective [solution] for what we needed.

Julia Brodbeck
Research & Evaluation Associate
Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters

Challenges

Prior to purchasing EBSCO products, the Cooking Matters staff had access to a limited number of journals through professional memberships. Without a library of its own electronic resources, employees had to obtain content from commercial Internet search engines, free databases such as PubMed, and library websites.

According to Julia Brodbeck, Research and Evaluation Associate for Cooking Matters, she and her colleagues were not able to benefit from the scope of resources available.

“We value research and making sure that our program is very evidence-based, and we wanted to publish more research and be more informed in the area in which we work,” said Brodbeck. “We decided it was time for us to purchase a database of journal articles so that we could do research more efficiently.”

In the summer of 2012, after spending a few months evaluating a number of databases offered by various vendors, Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters ultimately purchased EBSCO’s Academic Search Complete and SocINDEX. In addition, Cooking Matters has implemented EDS because its layer of searchable metadata helps staff members to identify valuable new full-text journals to purchase.

“EBSCO came up as the most cost effective for what we needed,” Brodbeck said.

Solutions

Cooking Matters provides its users with simple access to its EBSCO products using a select service screen. Users go to search.ebscohost.com and log in using their credentials. From there, they can select EDS or search their EBSCOhost research databases individually.

“It’s easier for us to just search EDS because the things we have full-text access to show right up,” Brodbeck said. “Instead of looking in two places, we can look in one place.”

Nationally sponsored by Wal-Mart and ConAgra Foods® Foundation, Share Our Strength partners with food banks, community health organizations, and state cooperative extensions. Many of these partner organizations run Cooking Matters’ six-week nutrition education courses which teach low-income families how to prepare healthy, affordable meals. These courses, which reach about 23,000 people annually, are offered in 29 states. Share Our Strength connects with an additional 10,000 people per year through Shopping Matters®, a free, guided grocery store tour that teaches those on a budget how to get the most nutrition for their food dollars.

EBSCO’s databases provide researchers with evidence-based content which they use to conduct literature reviews, revise the Cooking Matters curriculum, and guide strategy decisions.

“If we want to figure out, for instance, who our main target audience for our courses should be, we can do some research to figure out the audiences who are most receptive to nutrition education, what are the best ways to reach those audiences, and so on,” Brodbeck explained.

Following the implementation, Brodbeck conducted a half hour training session with her team. “Everyone has found it to be pretty straightforward,” she said. “It’s really easy to use.”

Benefits & Results

Although it is still early in Cooking Matters’ subscription period, Brodbeck said that EDS has already helped her team identify at least one journal that they feel is worth subscribing to. Researchers had clicked on article abstracts from the publication “Appetite” several dozen times in the past couple of months, so Cooking Matters decided to purchase it.

“If we’re doing research on a topic, we don’t want to be ignoring something just because we don’t have full-text access to it,” Brodbeck said, adding that Cooking Matters will be more likely to purchase full text of journal titles that experience frequent use. “EDS is helping us [to] not miss anything.”

Most popular among users is the ability to set up search alerts and save articles and abstracts to personal folders. Brodbeck pointed to a recent project in which an intern was able to save items to her folder and share them with colleagues.

“We could go in and see her progress and provide suggestions,” Brodbeck explained. “She didn’t have to print out every single article for us.”

Finally, Brodbeck said that EBSCO was extremely supportive throughout the implementation process.

“We’re a pretty small customer,” Brodbeck said. “EBSCO was understanding of our budget and wanted to help us have what we need to fulfill our mission. I was pleasantly surprised by how much [EBSCO] cares about this being successful for us.”