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WebFeat - Frequently Asked Questions

What does WebFeat do?
WebFeat logo WebFeat is a federated search engine that enables you to search multiple library databases simultaneously. Similar to how Google lets you search virtually the entire Web, WebFeat allows you to search practically every WIU library database for magazine, newspaper and scholarly journal articles, books and more.
How do I access WebFeat?
Currently, the easiest way to access WebFeat is to click the "Select A Database" link on the library's homepageScreenshot of Libraries front page with a red arrow pointing to the select a Database link.

Then, click the WebFeat icon for a direct link into the WebFeat interface:

Screenshot of Select a Database page with a red arrow pointing to the WebFeat icon.

Begin your search by entering terms into the search box(es). Next, select a category of databases to search, and/or scroll down the page to make your own modifications or individual selections. Finally, click "Go" to begin your search.Screenshot of WebFeat user interface with red arrows pointing to terms, subject, search button, and selections.
What are the categories?
The categories represent broad, pre-selected lists of databases organized by general subjects. Since it is not practical to represent every discipline, the categories suggest databases that are generally applicable to these areas. Major multidisciplinary databases (e.g., JSTOR, ArticleFirst, Expanded Academic Index) are often included in specific categories due to their indexing coverage. You are free to add or delete databases from the pre-selected categories for your search. Simply select a category checkbox and then scroll down the page to make changes.
Why do I sometimes see unexpected results?
WebFeat attempts to search each database's "native interface" separately and then display a list of results. Databases often support different search features or may have a prescribed searching syntax (e.g., AND, OR, NOT, "FULL TEXT ONLY"). If a database does not support a given operator or feature it is dropped from the WebFeat search. This may cause inaccuracies in your search. Searching a large number of databases at the same time may increase the likelihood of false returns. For advanced searching, it is advisable to search appropriate databases, separately, in their "native interface."
What fields can I search?
You may search the following fields:

  • Keyword: All Fields (WebFeat's default search).
  • Title: Searches the title field.
  • Author: Searches the author field.
  • Abstract: Searches the abstract field.
  • Subject: Searches the subject field.
However, see also "Why do I obtain unexpected results?"
Can I perform Boolean searches?
Use AND to connect separate concepts. AND will narrow a search. Example: fish and ecology.

Use OR to connect similar terms. OR will broaden your search. Example: atomic energy or nuclear energy.

Use NOT to eliminate separate terms. NOT will narrow your search. Example: television not cable.

However, see also "Why do I obtain unexpected results?"
Can a search for a phrase?
There is no perfect method for searching for exact phrases in WebFeat since databases may perform exact phrase searching differently. Using "quotation marks" around your search term may be effective in some searches. For advanced searching it is recommended that you use the "native interface" of the database.

See also "Why do I obtain unexpected results?"
I clicked the "Full Text Only" box. Why do some citations not offer Full Text?
Again, each database is unique. If the "native interface" provides a "Full Text Only" limit that WebFeat can interpret, then the search of that database will offer full-text articles. Some databases don't offer a full-text only limit (and not all databases provide full-text articles).

See also "Why do I obtain unexpected results?"
Can I use WebFeat from off campus?
Yes. WIU students, faculty & staff with a valid WIU Library Identification Number or WIU ECOM Account may access WebFeat from off-campus locations.
Tell me more about WebFeat!
WebFeat is a federated search engine that WIU Libraries and the Consortium of Academic Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) licensed from WebFeat Inc. Over 2,500 libraries use this technology. There's more information about WebFeat on their web site: http://www.webfeat.org/.
I need help using WebFeat!
Please call, come by, or submit an e-form to the Reference Desk (298-2700 or toll free: 1-800-413-6544).
I would like to comment on WebFeat.
Please use our Comments Form to communicate your comments or suggestions regarding WebFeat!