Rasmussen College

Students achieve research success with Research Starters

At a Glance

Rasmussen College
Multiple locations, USA

Institution Type:   Academic Libraries
Related Products:   EBSCO Discovery Service

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Enrolling approximately 14,000 students, Rasmussen College in the U.S. offers 24 campus locations in six states and 40 diverse online degree programs. The institution’s libraries provide students and alumni with a wealth of online resources including 200,000 e-books, 80 research databases, and millions of full-text articles. In 2012, to streamline access to its library resources, Rasmussen College implemented EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), a single-search research platform that allows users to search a library’s holdings with the speed and simplicity of a commercial internet search engine.

Research Starters provides that important initial success of finding quality information on a topic.

BethMarie Gooding
Associate Dean of Library
Rasmussen College


In early 2014, Rasmussen College became a beta tester for Research Starters, a new feature in EDS that quickly connects users to citable, authoritative summary articles on thousands of popular topics, including history, geography, and science. Designed to enhance the research experience, Research Starters include links to relevant articles, images, videos, and audio clips. The content is curated from a variety of high quality sources including Salem Press and Encyclopædia Britannica. If a Research Starter is available for the topic, it will appear at the top of the EDS search results list.

According to BethMarie Gooding, Associate Dean of Library, Research Starters is a useful feature for Rasmussen College students, many of whom are adult learners with emerging information literacy skills.

“Research Starters provides that important initial success of finding quality information on a topic without the depth of experience in researching [that] our beginning students are just building,” Gooding said. “It is an excellent transition from the more familiar Google-type of search to a more structured research strategy.”

Gooding said that the library staff introduced Research Starters to students through a webinar series and targeted emails. Reference librarians also demonstrate the feature to students during individual help sessions.

Freshman David Estok said Research Starters provides him with thorough topic overviews. “The information contained is well-organized, pitched to a college level of comprehension, and provides a list of related categories of information to narrow the particular topic search,” Estok said, adding that he uses Research Starters content to complete his weekly nursing assignments. He also called Research Starters “a valuable organizing tool for larger research papers.”

Sophomore Cheryl Whitehouse agreed. “I looked up diabetes, and Research Starters gave me all the information I would need to write a paper,” she said. “Without this feature, I would have to spend hours researching different sites. It was also easy to cite my sources—just one click and the citation was done for me.”

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