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Penn State University Libraries

User Guide: Navigating the Access World News Database with a Screen Reader


  • Adaptive Technology and Services
  • 113 Pattee Library, west
    University Park, PA 16802
  • Phone: 814-865-0284

Navigating the Access World News Database with a JAWS Screen Reader

The NewsBank Access World News Database contains over 219 million current and archived articles from thousands of sources around the world while also providing access to over 150 news sources from Pennsylvania. Aside from the map of the world outlining the different news regions of the world on the homepage, the content in the database is text only; there aren't any images. Additionally, videos of news broadcasts are available within this database but they lack captions.


Opening Newsbank - Access World News - Database

You can open the Access World News Database from here or from the Libraries' homepage by performing the following steps:

  • Press the keys INSERT + F7 to hear the list of links available on the page.
  • Type the keys 'D' and 'A' and press ENTER when you hear 'Databases'. This will take you to a new page called 'Databases by Title (A-Z).'
  • Next, press keys INSERT + F6 to hear the list of headings on the page. Use the DOWN ARROW to hear the available headings and press ENTER upon hearing 'Search for a Database.'
  • Press the TAB key once to move the cursor to the edit field. Type in the word 'Newsbank' and press ENTER.
  • Again, you will be taken to a new page that lists the results of your search.
  • Select INSERT + F7 to get a list of the links on the page, type the letter 'N', you should hear Newsbank Access World News, and press ENTER.
  • This will open a new browser window, opening with a redirect page and then taking you to the database homepage after several seconds.

Searching Newsbank - Access World News

The Newsbank Access World News Database homepage has 5 headings, which you can access by pressing keys INSERT + F6.

  • The first heading takes to you to the very top of the page, to the beginning of the page content.
  • The second heading takes you to the edit fields, allowing you to begin your search by entering search terms. The default search setting allows you to search all text, from all news sources, from all countries.
  • The third heading is called Shortcuts and will take you to a list of links that can help you navigate through the database easily, if you have a good idea of the kind of information you seek. The list includes Pennsylvania Newspapers, Major Newspapers and more. Clicking on one of these links will take you to a page that contains links to all news sources related to the Shortcut you selected.
  • The fourth heading is called Locations. Selecting this will take you to the first of three tabs. The Locations tab will allow you to select a region of the world. After hearing 'Locations,' if you press the TAB key one time, you will be on the 'Source Types' tab, which provides a list and links to all the various types of documents available (blogs, college/university newspapers, journals, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, newswires, transcripts, videos, web-only sources). If you press the TAB key two times, you will be taken to the 'Source List' tab, which lists the over 4500 sources available within this database. Check boxes are located before the news source titles. You can use the check boxes located next to the title links to select the sources you want to search.
  • The fifth heading is called 'Click on nap to search by location' and is not accessible. It is an image of a world map that allows a searcher to select a region, opening a new page with a break down of all the countries in that region. This provides the same results at using the fourth heading - Locations, choosing a region, then pressing ENTER.

Please note the easiest way to access Pennsylvania Newspapers is through the third heading - Shortcuts, where you can easily browse the electronic collection of over 150 Pennsylvania news sources.

Conducting a Search

There is not an Advanced Search option.

The layout for the search fields is as follows:

Row 1: Combo box with Search Field options - Default is set to 'All Text,' meaning the terms you type in the search box may appear anywhere in an article. There are ten options in the combo box, allowing you to choose what portions of the articles you'd like to search. This is followed by an edit field, where you can enter your search term, followed by a Search button. However, you can TAB over the Search button to get to another row that allows you to further refine your search.

Row 2: Combo box with AND, OR and NOT, followed by a combo box with DATE as the default search field selected. You have the same options available with this combo box as you did in the first row, followed by an edit field, followed by a button to remove a row and another button to add a row.

Row 3: You choose how you want your results displayed. A combo box is auto-populated with 'Newest First.' Other options are 'Oldest Articles' or 'Best Matches.'

Please note: If you go beyond the first row and skip the Search button, you have to navigate back the Search button once you are done constructing your search query. The simplest way to do this is press SHIFT + TAB until you hear SEARCH and press ENTER.


Selecting Articles

There are nine headings on the results page.

By pressing the keys INSERT + F6, you can access the list of headings and use them to easily navigate around the page (moving the cursor to a menu to further limit your results, print or email options).

Each article title on the results page is preceded by an unchecked check box. If checked, you can save the articles to be printed, emailed, or you can export their citation information. To do this, check the box by pressing the ENTER key when you hear, "Checkbox not checked" before an article title that interests you. Then press INSERT + F6 to access the list of headings, where 'print,' 'email,' and 'export citation' options are available.

Each article title is a link that will take you to the full-text article. Following the linked title is the publication name, date of publication, word count (including the estimated printed pages) and an article preview, offering the first few sentences of an article.

Once you select an article title, you will be taken to the full-text article page. This page has five headings, one of which is the title of the article. On this page, you'll be able to easily find links to print, email or export that citation information by pressing INSERT + F7, in addition to finding links for related articles.

To navigate back to the results page, press ALT + LEFT ARROW.