WRIT 3307 (Hacker): Advanced Writing: Find Articles

Search for Articles in Library Databases

A peer-reviewed (or refereed) journal:

  • uses experts from the same subject field or profession as the author to evaluate a manuscript prior to acceptance for publication
  • has articles that report on research studies or provide scholarly analysis of topics
  • may include book reviews, editorials, or other brief items that are not considered scholarly articles

(3:15) Explains the academic publishing process for research articles and scholarly journals, including the quality control process of peer review. North Carolina State Univ. Libraries

Finding Scholarly Articles on Your Topic

These tutorials include practice in Neumann Library web-based resources and self-quiz questions to help you check your understanding.

See also:

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Find an Article or Journal



Advanced Search

Find journals by journal title or ISSN

Sample searches:
journal of family issues
0192-513X (ISSN example)

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Search Strategy & Tips

  1. State your topic or research question in your own words. Natural language searches often work well in OneSearch, but for individual subject databases:
  2. Identify the most important keywords (usually the substantive nouns) or short, commonly used phrases.
  3. Think of variations (singular, plural) and synonyms for your terms.
  4. Create an initial search statement using connectors or logical operators (especially AND, OR) and, if appropriate, wildcards.
  5. Try it out in one or more databases and/or Library Catalog.
  6. Look for other good keywords and subject terms in search results.
  7. Try revised searches until you're satisfied with the results.
  8. Depending on the volume of results, consider narrowing or broadening your topic.
  9. If you're having difficulties, contact us.

Find more (broaden your results) with OR and wildcards:
   dementia or alzheimer's   (finds either term)
   teen* or adolescen*   (finds teen, teenager, adolescent, adolescents, etc.)

Find less (narrow your results) with AND:
   homelessness and alcoholism   (finds both terms)

Find less with NOT:
   twelve step* not alcohol*   (excludes records that mention alcohol, alcoholism, etc.)

Sample search statement:
   (child abuse or child neglect) and prevent*

Limiters can help to improve the relevance and focus of results:

  • Narrow results with standard  limiters (peer-reviewed, date; document type; language; etc.)
  • Some databases allows quotation marks for an "exact phrase"
  • In databases for a specific subject discipline, look for specialized limiters (such as age groups in PsycINFO)
  • Try restricting some terms to the title or abstract field
  • Try restricting some terms to the subject or descriptors field. Subject terms can vary from database to database, but using them usually improves relevance so look for them in results displays and detailed records. Some databases include a subject terms thesaurus.

 

  • Look for different, relevant keywords or subject terms to try
  • Simplify your search by removing less critical search terms or limiters
  • Expand some terms to the all text or full text field, if provided
  • Try a different database or OneSearch

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