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Database Searching: How to Find Journal Articles? START.

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1 Database Searching: How to Find Journal Articles? START

2 I. Understanding Online Databases What are online databases? Online databases are Web-based electronic indexes that enable you to locate and retrieve articles in magazines, journals and newspapers. NEXT

3 Multidisciplinary (Comprehensive) vs. Subject Specific Database coverage may be comprehensive e.g., Academic Search Premier, or on a particular subject, e.g., PsycINFO. Full text vs. Citation only A database may contain full text articles or only citations. Types of Databases NEXT

4 II. Finding the Right Database(s) for Your Research Topic What databases are available from the Library? Which databases are comprehensive and may be the best place to start searching? Which specialized database is appropriate for my subject-oriented research? NEXT

5 What databases are available from the Library? The library subscribes to a number of online databases which cover various subjects. Remote access allows you to search off campus. Click By Title or By Subject or By Provider on the Library Homepage to get a database list with descriptions and access information.Library Homepage NEXT

6 Which databases are comprehensive? Academic Search Premier* & Wilson OmniFile Full Text* Why should you start with one of the above ? They cover nearly all subject areas or disciplines. They provide a large number of full-text journal articles. They let you limit your search to scholarly journals. *You may locate the two databases on the database list By Title. NEXT

7 Which specialized database is appropriate for my subject-oriented research? You may select a specialized database from the list By Subject. When you browse the list and select an online database, consider the following questions: Which database covers my research subject? Can I get full text articles? Can I limit the search to scholarly journal articles? What other sources are available ? For example: NEXT

8 You are doing research on an educational topic: First, choose the database list By Subject, then select Education. You will get a list as shown below from which you can select a database to start your search. You may click (info.) besides the database title to read the description of the database.info NEXT

9 III. Locating & Retrieving Relevant Articles Each database has its own search interface and capabilities. Many of the basic search concepts and features are similar: Keyword searching Limiters Boolean operators What are some common searching problems and solutions? Where can you find more assistance for some of the librarys databases? NEXT

10 Keyword Searching Keyword searching is the easiest search method, but may be less precise. Databases collect, sort and present information according to FIELDS (which are usually found in a dropdown menu), such as: Author Title of article Subject Publication name To make your search more specific, you may select one or more fields to do keyword search. To expand your search, you may search for keyword(s) in All basic or Default fields. NEXT

11 Limiters Limiters are database functions that let you narrow your search results. Database limiters may include: Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Publication year Full text Language, etc. NEXT

12 Boolean Operator: AND AND l inks words or phrases that must both appear in the same article. If you what to focus your search results, use Boolean operator AND to connect additional word(s) Example: computer and teaching -- finds both computer and teaching anywhere in the same article. NEXT

13 Boolean Operator: OR OR links synonyms, alternative forms of expression, acronyms, and so on. If you want to expand your search, use Boolean operator OR to connect additional word(s). Example: first grade or elementary school -- finds either first grade or elementary school in the same article. NEXT

14 Common Searching Problems & Solutions (I) 1. Citation list is too long Narrow your search using additional terms connected by AND; Limit your search by limiter functions; Try to find the official descriptor or subject heading that matches your keyword(s) in the thesaurus or subject index provided by the database. NEXT

15 Common Searching Problems & Solutions (II) 2. No citations Check the spelling of your search terms; Eliminate one or more of your search terms; Dont fill in every empty text box or drop-down menu choice; Try to find the official descriptor or subject heading that matches your topic; Make sure appropriate database is used; Call (201) to ask a reference librarian for assistance. NEXT

16 For more on search techniques Click for the instruction on searching Academic Search Premier of EBSCOHost. Click for the instruction on Business InfoSuite. Click for the instruction on Lexis-Nexis NEXT

17 Click to go back to the Tutorial: END


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