Producers of subscription databases are constantly looking for ways to improve their products to make them easier to use and more functional for users. EBSCOhost, which produces a number of databases to which Rice Library subscribes (Academic Search Premier, CINAHL with Full Text, Historical Abstracts, etc.), has recently added a “Text-to-Speech” feature which reads the text of HTML content contained in the database.
Users that retrieve full-text HTML documents (not .pdf) in an EBSCOhost database may listen to the text read by one of three English language accents (American, British, or Australian) and at one of three speeds (slow, medium, or fast). Look for the “Listen” icon (pictured at right), located in the upper left hand corner of the full-text portion of the document. Select from the accent and speed options and click on the “Listen” button. The user may select specific text or have the document read from the beginning. As an added feature, the portion being read is highlighted, making it easier to follow along.