Tips on finding articles for your research. From the Libraries of Montgomery County Community College. Updated 8-8-12 by librarians Mary Beth Parkinson and Jerry Yarnetsky. Contact us at jyarnets-at-mc3.edu
Choose Your Subject
From the drop-down “Refine
by Subject” menu, choose the
subject that best fits your
For PTSD, you might try
The list of databases
automatically filters to the
options best for your subject.
Try the Psychology and Behavioral
Sciences Collection. You’ll see it is
listed as a “Best Bet”
Search using your first keyword
and click “Full Text”
Tip 1: For articles, avoid using acronyms such as PTSD, spell it out for better results!
Tip 2: Click the “Full Text” button to insure all entries have articles.
Tip 3: Click the “Peer Review” button for research-based academic articles.
Spell it out…
Let’s look at the results…
(A) Article title. (B) Author and journal information.
(circle) Number of pages. (D) Article subjects. (E) Link to the article.
Look at the article subjects
This is how the articles are classified.
Search with these to get better results!
Here we searched for PTSD, but found it was tagged
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Click the title for the article view
(A) Here’s the article. (B) Find similar articles.
(C) Email yourself the article. (D) Citations. (E) Link to the article.
Always email yourself the articles!
Focus your results
You will often see hundreds if not
thousands of articles!
Use options in the left column
including date, source type
and subject to narrow your
When you click a box or change the year,
your results list will update.
This left column
can only provide basic
focusing. Let’s try
for better results using
And • Or • Not
Start with your
However, you want to focus your
topic on veterans suffering PTSD.
So add a second keyword…
Search “Post traumatic stress
disorder and Veterans”
Get articles with both terms in common – Veterans who suffer PTSD
This would be purple the overlap area.
Search “Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder not Veterans”
Now you get PTSD articles not related to veterans.
For example, natural disaster or child abuse victims
suffering PTSD. These articles are in the blue area.
Search “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
and (veterans or child abuse)”
OR is the way to
aspects of the
Experiment with keywords
Aim for a fewer very good articles instead of
hundreds of so-so articles.
Changing Veterans to Iraq War gave us 38 good articles
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West Campus Library
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