EBSCO, Where Art Thou?

“I have subjects in Psych that require me to write a lot of papers. Before, it is not that hard to get RRLs because EBSCO is there. Now, every research is a big burden. What shall I do? What happened to EBSCO?” - Jo, Psychology

For those who are wondering, EBSCO (Elton B. Stephens Co.) is the leading service provider for e-journals and e-books, as well as the biggest database of researches as of this time. With just one click, journals, books, and other resources which are essential for making researches and for other academic purposes can be viewed. Most of the materials are reviewed and are high in rating so you are sure that they are dependable and excellent.

The University was subscribed to EBSCO for several years now up until January of this year. The basic subscription for EBSCO is $1000 per annum plus additional fees for more features, which is costly in comparison to other online databases. Even so, I think the price is worth it since a lot of students benefit from EBSCO. It is the right of the students of the national university to be entitled to such resources. From the national universities abroad that I have been to, they have the database both online and in print for students and outside researchers to access. But the reality in the Philippines works otherwise. UP is the one which depends on other universities for resources.

One option for students to access EBSCO is by using the accounts of other universities such as De La Salle or Ateneo de Manila University. If you have friends from those universities, you may borrow their username and password. Legally, that is questionable but prudence-wise, you may do so. If you happen to know any of the university's administrators, faculty, or students, they will also allow you to gain access to their other journals. It sounds so parasitic but if you really need it, just consider the option.

If you do not have connections with the mentioned universities, you have the option of gaining access to other journals by using the university’s existing subscriptions. You may use Sciencedirect, Springerlink or Proquest databases which contain social sciences materials. Keep in mind though that you can only access these at the e-resource in the general reference section of the main library. There are also free databases online such as Science and High-Wire but only few are accessible for full view.

Another thing you can do is to check out the journals in the serials section (both local and foreign). Of course, thesis, books, and other files in the library (UP and outside) are still valuable. They are still reliable resources but not as updated as the ones in the electronic database.

EBSCO is like a bridge that provides passage over the obstacle. Access to it is a right of every Iskolar ng Bayan who invests in knowledge and serves as the new builders of the nation. How can these students be builders if they are deprived of resources that will feed their mind? How can we find the way to our nation's real independence if as early as now they are brought to the option of depending to others for access to earnest materials?

This issue goes back to the responsibility of the government to provide resources for the university. If this university wants to have the standards of national universities like those abroad, it should start by making sure that its students have the resources that they need. And since UP is the national university, the government should provide for its needs.

Hoping for EBSCO to come back is quite frustrating since it has been half a year since the subscription was terminated. Student councils and professors are still working on how to gain subscription again. Actually, there are some things we can do to restore EBSCO such as campaign signatures, letters, or dialogues with the administration. We can also ask for sponsors or donors but that would entail a longer process. ▪