Wikipedia:HighBeam/Experiences

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Please leave comments about your usage of HighBeam on this page. Stories of how it helped you would be great. Other comments or criticisms can be placed here or on the project's main page talk page.

  • My first experience with HighBeam was during a free 7 day trial. I was looking for some articles about Gabriel Cousens, a natural health practitioner and spiritual teacher. I thought that I had exhausted Google and Google News, having found 30 decent references already. HighBeam gave me 15 more sources, many of them hidden behind newspaper archives and paywalls, and ones that didn't even show up in Google searches. A few of those sources were critical in expanding key aspects of the article. It was such a good experience that I decided to ask HighBeam if they'd like to help more Wikipedians by donating some free accounts. Sure, they said, how about 1000? And that's how this partnership was born. Neat. Ocaasi t | c 01:57, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Quick first reaction. It's a little disappointing that the spread of dates is, for the most part, early 1990s-date. Including public domain historical newspaper files as fat pdfs, like the Library of Congress digitization project, etc., would be a boon. The most useful section for my own purposes is the journal articles, although things are skewed to Gale publications vs. Routledge and others, which makes it a bit hit-and-miss. Navigation seems simple enough and the search engine works well, although again, for a person working on 1920s history there are more misses than hits in the database as it currently stands. Carrite (talk) 20:56, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I've only had the account for a few hours and already, BAM! Article rescued. I do echo Carrite's comment above though. Just from a few general searches, i've noticed that, unless you're researching something in the past 20 years, Highbeam doesn't really come up with any helpful results. Also, it seems to be very highly US and UK focused, with practically no newspapers or magazines from elsewhere in the world except for the one or two most popular newspapers in a given highly populous country. SilverserenC 21:32, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
  • They have some academic journal and newspaper archives that are otherwise unavailable to me, including Kew Bulletin, which just resulted in the new article Salvia harleyana. I see they also have some good specialist encyclopedias, which will help with some obscure subjects that have few reliable sources available. First Light (talk) 01:45, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Quick first response: I have activated my Highbeam account successfully. It looks great!I like their "Save an article" option. You don't need to use Bookmarks now! I have not used their advanced filters/search operators still (actually can't find it). My first experience is good!--Tito Dutta (Send me a message) 02:30, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I was going to use the newspapers to help beef up articles like South American dreadnought race... but then I realized the oldest newspapers go back to the 1980s. Still, finding an encyclopedia article on a rather obscure (at least in English) topic like the Revolt of the Lash was a pleasant surprise. I'll be able to make use of these resources, just not quite as much as I'd hoped. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:34, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
  • "Why did Paris Salon jurors reject Monet's painting of The Magpie in 1869?" HighBeam was a big help in answering this question. I just added some content and a HighBeam link based on the answer.[1] Viriditas (talk) 22:44, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Yesterday I've activated my account and already used it for two articles in German Wikipedia. HighBeam is great for searching information. But it's not so easy to find original citation information, esp. page number, but even the author is not always specified.--Berita (talk) 01:01, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I just started using it today and have already found it very useful in rescuing Les Whitten from a proposed deletion. This is going into my regular repertoire of Wikipedia-editing tools. —David Eppstein (talk) 03:43, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, I've used my new account for a reference in de.wp, too, already. However,I've realised that HighBeam's search does not run on unicode, so diacritic characters are not recognised. Nor are they included in any text. E.g., the name of Günter Grass becomes "Gnter Grass" in HighBeam. That's strange.--Aschmidt (talk) 21:30, 15 April 2012 (UTC) But I must say, HighBeam is a great source if you are looking for yesterday's news about British radio.--Aschmidt (talk) 23:26, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I have used HighBeam to get at least a few good refs so far. I am disappointed that the bibliographical metadata is not allocated to the correct fields in Zotero. It is all shoved into the "Abstract" field. Not sure if it is a fault of HighBeam or Zotero at this stage. Since I use Zotero to export refs into Wikipedia pages that I am editing, having this sorted would be a great help. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 00:58, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Account activation was a breeze, and I wish all such were so easy. I was able to find a source that helped get an article I'd been working on for a while promoted to GA. As others have noted, newspaper articles seems to only go back a few decades. Undoubtedly a helpful tool, but not as helpful (yet) as I'd hoped. cmadler (talk) 14:58, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I was able to access a 2010 research paper which enabled me to write an article on the invasive golden mussel about which I could find very little information elsewhere. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 05:54, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Activation was easy, although I had to use an alternative email address. Sadly there wasn't as much about Indonesia as I had hoped (not even The Jakarta Post records...). However, HighBeam has been a blessing for Malaysia-related articles, a field which I may branch into. I've already created two articles (Hetty Sarlene and Iskandar) with sources only available on HighBeam... in both cases, there were no other sources available at all. Impressive tool, but not as complete as I'd hoped. I'd like to see more foreign-language sources; a Tempo and Kompas archive would be perfect for my needs. Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:46, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  • The activation process was painless, and navigation on HighBeam is refreshingly simple. I have utliized this resource to provide reliable citations for a handful of articles that were sorely undersourced (not because RS's were not available, but because many were painstakingly hard to find, particularly with the paywall barrier). Kudos to Ocaasi for the splendid idea, and to the good people at HighBeam Research for their cooperation!--JayJasper (talk) 18:40, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I found the activation process very straightforward and within a couple of minutes I had access to their archives. A month on from registering I'm finding HighBeam Research is proving a very useful resource that is helping me with my research. I've added refs to some existing articles, and this past weekend created one from scratch using information I located from HighBeam newspaper articles. It has also been helpful that there's quite a lot of material from the Birminghjam Post and Mail on there, as I'm planning to write a few missing articles about Birmingham, as well as improving some existing ones. Thanks to Ocassi and all at HighBeam for this great research opportunity. Paul MacDermott (talk) 17:47, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
  • HighBeam has so far been useful on occasion for finding the full text of sources, especially for certain types of business information. It is not as strong in the news areas, where Google News generally produces more useful results even if many of the GNews results are behind paywalls. As others have noted, the HighBeam library doesn't seem to go back as far as one might have hoped. My most notable disappointment so far has been that, on several occasions, Google has located a potentially useful source at highbeam.com, but the source has turned out be within HighBeam Business rather than HighBeam Research, and my account doesn't have access to the source. --Arxiloxos (talk) 17:14, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Echoing other users' sentiments here, but I find this super easy to use and great for recent topics. Unfortunately, much of what I work on is between somewhat older and way older than what is currently available. I know it is probably difficult to get the original publishers to convert older content, but that's the number one way I could see improving this feature. Also, page numbers in the original source would be helpful, but it's not a deal-breaker by any means. Still an invaluable resource for more recent topics, and I join the others on this page in complimenting Ocassi for coming up with the idea and sincerely thanking Highbeam for this great opportunity. I hope extensions of the free access will be available when the year is up. Acdixon (talk · contribs) 17:22, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Have already used my new Highbeam account to add referenced content to "The Stolen Eagle". I particularly like the option to narrow by date, though I haven't yet tried other features yet. Ruby 2010/2013 03:23, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Although I haven't used it to add references to many articles (yet), Highbeam has proved very useful to help assess the notability of articles on companies, performers etc. that are up for deletion.  —SMALLJIM  18:55, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I was finally able to verify a nettlesome source: a 1999 article in The Scotsman (UK), which was cited in Wendy Carlos, using Highbeam. Pleased so far. --Lexein (talk) 13:24, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
  • As a sports fan, Highbeam's offerings are right in my wheelhouse... Joel Otto, Brett Hull, Grey Cup, Eric Vail, Rhett Warrener, etc. Resolute 02:44, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
  • HighBeam is already helpful in finding archived newspaper articles about bands I am working on. My only disappointment is that major music publications like Billboard or Radio & Records are not in it, but this is still an excellent service. Toa Nidhiki05 01:47, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I found additional information for an article on the first day that I had the service. Donner60 (talk) 01:57, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
  • As others have mentioned its not a perfect archive of news articles but its working a lot better than my efforts on Google News. Its very handy and I use it frequently. Thank you High Beam!-- KeithbobTalk 13:54, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Highbeam is wonderful :) Primary for article about corporations history (mergers and acquisitions) (f.e. de:Trane) a very helpful tool. --Markus S. (talk) 11:12, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Hello, I'm mainly working on the French-speaking wiki and HB is fantastic to gather quickly additional information on any topic. Thanks again for setting up this partnership. Xavxav (talk) 00:04, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I've largely worked with in on ENWIKI, trying to check/improve sourcing on articles up for deletion at AfD and for potential creation at AfC. Highbeam has been a useful resource for those tasks. It's saved a number of articles in each process, I've had the best luck with political figures. --j⚛e deckertalk 05:53, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
  • I had it for a year and it was so useful in finding good resources for articles, including searching terms that even google could find little of relevance on. Used it dozens of times to help improve Wikipedia. Can't wait to get it back!! CarolMooreDC - talkie talkie🗽 15:41, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
  • The downside is the spread of dates: fairly recent and much of my work deals with the 1880-1940 period. The upside is access to material from the Washington Post, which is a treasure trove. Carrite (talk) 07:00, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I've found that access to articles via Highbeam has been invaluable in improving the encyclopedia. While not all research results in direct additions to articles, it does enable a fuller picture of topics to be explored. Having said that, I've made a number of encyclopedic additions to content as a result of being granted access. A few such initial instances were recorded at Trevj/HighBeam. Thanks for collaborating with us all here. -- Trevj (talk) 11:03, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I am a Senior Editor active since 2004. I have found HighBeam to be an invaluable tool for fact checking and research to support Wikipedia content creation. HighBeam contains a rich archive of news reports and articles that I cannot find elsewhere, and it is actually exciting to have the use of something so penetrating in its factual depth. Many news reports which were once available online are disappeared, but can still be found at HighBeam. — O'Dea (talk) 18:06, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
  • I have found it very useful. Is there any chance of a renewal? -Thoughtfortheday (talk) 17:21, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Access to news and journals has been very beneficial. I especially like the "Save this article" feature, and the ability to organize articles into folders. I've also very much liked the "HighBeam Research Weekly Alerts", which lets me know when new articles are added for a particular topic.  Grollτech (talk) 12:44, 22 January 2014 (UTC)