Searching Library Resources
Find authoritative sources for your research project.
From scholarly books that provide a comprehensive account of a topic; to journal articles that provide studies/reviews of current literature.
Finding Background Information
Books and reference sources such as encyclopedias, provide basic facts and knowledge that can be used as a foundation for your research and will lead you to additional sources.
Tools: Library Catalog for books, for encyclopedia articles it is recommended to use Gale Virtual Reference.
How to search: Start with a basic search using two to three keywords.
Focus Your Research
Once you have decided on a research question/ hypothesis or focus of your research.
It is time to make a list of the key elements/concepts of your topic.
Before jumping into searches, lets generate a list of key-terms to search with. Under each main concept think of synonyms, related terms describing the same concept. Don't hesitate on going broadly and narrow when thinking of terms.
Electronic databases that index periodicals can be very large, some containing in excess of a million citations and full text items.
It is best to conduct advanced searching techniques to get concise & relevant results.
Wildcards & Truncations
Wildcards are symbols that represent any combination of letters, returning all possible variations of a search term.
symbols used: * (most common)
? or # (used to replace 1 character)
Truncation uses a wildcard character to search for all possible endings of a word. See example
Proximity operators are shorthand notations used with a number to indicate how close a search term should appear to another search term.
Operators used vary by database.
Each database has its own limiters options in order to filter your results further. The most commonly used filters are: dates, type of source such as peer-reviewed, language.
Don't Limit your results to Full Text
Full text is the actual article itself, it can be in PDF format or HTML.
In case you do not see a Full Text link, look for the SFX Link.
SFX acts like the middle man between databases. It will let you know if we have that article via another database or in print.
In case there is no Full Text/SFX link or properly working, find the article using the periodicals list.
1. Identify the journal, magazine, newspaper where article was published and the year.
2. Search for the title of publication in Periodicals List.
3. Make sure there is access to that year, if so click on database link that provides access to the publication.
4. Locate article using year, volume, issue, title of article information.
Now is time for you to search for articles!!!
If you have problems email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please use Google Chrome to obtain the best export results.
Public - 3/16/16, 12:37 AM