Apps for Research & Writing

A guide containing recommended apps for research, ebook reading, and document storage, sharing, annotating and citing.


EbscoHost is our largest database collection.

EbscoHost has provided an app to facilitate researching on a mobile device. 

You cannot download the app directly from the app store because then it will not recognize you as MCLA affiliated and it won't give you access to the databases. Follow these instructions to download the app:

1. Go to this link on your mobile device.
2. If you are off-campus you will be prompted to enter your A number and password.
3. Scroll all the way down the page until you see a link that says "iPhone and Android Apps" Click on the link.
4. It will prompt you for your email address. Enter and then go check your email on your device.
5. The email instructions will give you a link to download the app and then make sure you follow step two which is an authentication key link. This is what links the app to the library and will allow you to access full-text.

Once in the app you can search for articles and access PDFs of full-text. You can save the PDFs to other apps like GoodReader or Kindle or BlueFire Reader. You can also email a link to the article to yourself.

I really like the "My recent searches" feature that saves searches I've done recently so I can redo them even if I close the app. The app defaults to results by relevance but you can change to date on the results page. If you use the settings feature (the icon with gears) you can limit to peer reviewed or by publication date or choose specific databases.

The password for the app is only good for 9 months. After that time you will have to follow the instructions above to get a new authentication key.

Gale App

Gale is also a multi-database provider for the MCLA Library. They also have an app but it isn't as good as the EBSCOHost app.

Setting Up the App

  1. Go to this page and either download Access My Library at the App Store or from Google Play.
  2. After you install the app and open it, you need to find your institution. Choose "Find/Add Libraries"
  3. Choose "College Libraries" and then choose "Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts."
  4. TIt will promt you for a password. Choose "Retrieve Password" and enter your MCLA email address. It has to be your MCLA one in order to authenticate.
  5. The password will be sent to you via email.
  6. You will then have access to MCLA's Gale databases.

Using the App

  1. You can search all the Gale databases at once using the searchbox under "Search Our Resources"
  2. You can choose a particular database by clicking on the databases icon at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Articles and clippings can be saved in the app for future access or you can download an article to OneDrive or Google Drive.

The Gale app isn't as fancy as the EBSCOHost app. Once you do a search it looks like their website, it isn't very customized. The back button can be found at the bottom of the screen, not the top. I recommend you email the article to yourself as a PDF attachment and from your email save the document to GoodReader or another app.

For articles that are not available full-text look for the words "Library Links." This will look in other databases for that article or offer you the interlibrary loan request screen.

More Mobile sites and apps