Check out the library's self-paced tutorial How do I search library databases? to learn the basics of database searches.
1. How do I search for my topic?
- Identify the keywords of your topic and use those as your search words.
- Each article has tags assigned to it, words or shorts phrases that make each article searchable
- You want your search words to match those tags
- Words like impact, factors, effects, or effective are not used as tags
- Example: The topic for your research paper and presentation is: What factors affect the mental health of gay teenagers?
- Search: mental health gay teenagers.
2. How do I focus the search hits to meet my assignment requirements?
- Use Refine Your Search options to focus your search hits to just scientific articles
- Check Peer Review
- Check Journal article under Content Type
- Scroll the Publication Date bar to a recent year to focus your search hits to current research
- When you find an article that you like and want to use, click on the Cited By number beside Web of Science to open a list of articles that have cited that article
3. I have too many irrelevant search hits. How do I focus them to my assignment requirements and research interest areas?
- Use options in the Refine Results sidebar to the right of your search hits to focus them to sources more relevant to your assignment needs and more specific research areas of interest
- You can focus your search hits to:
- Academic Journals to focus to articles from peer-reviewed journals
- Source Types, such as journal articles, books, newspapers, or magazines
- Publication Date, so you get the most recent research
- Subject: Major Heading, to focus to your interest areas
4. How do I know my search words match the tags assigned to articles about my research question?
- As you scroll through the search hits, look at the Subjects (tags) assigned to the relevant articles you find, and see if they match your search words
- Subjects (tags) also help you identify the specific issues around your topic so you can give it direction and develop it into a focused research question
5. How do I preview the abstract/summary of articles from the list of search results?
- Click on the title link to open the full article record, which includes the article abstract and other information about the article such as author affiliation and citation information
6. How do I access the article so I can read the whole thing?
- Look for pdf Full Text or HTML Full Text links
- Click on the Check 360 Link for Full Text link to see if this article is available to read in other library databases
7. I can't find anything on my research question. What do I do?
- There may not be research tying your main ideas together yet.
- Try searching for your main ideas separately and linking their findings together
- If you've found one article that's relevant for your topic:
- Click on the Cited By number beside Web of Science to open a list of articles that have cited that article
- Look through the sources in its References list to see if any of them are also relevant to your research