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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

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  1. 1. MC3 Libraries Finding Articles
  2. 2. MC3 Libraries On the library website, click “Research”
  3. 3. MC3 Libraries Choose Your Subject From the drop-down “Refine by Subject” menu, choose the subject that best fits your topic. For PTSD, you might try psychology. The list of databases automatically filters to the options best for your subject.
  4. 4. MC3 Libraries Try the Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection. You’ll see it is listed as a “Best Bet”
  5. 5. MC3 Libraries 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…
  6. 6. MC3 Libraries 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. A B D E
  7. 7. MC3 Libraries 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.
  8. 8. MC3 Libraries 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! A B D E C
  9. 9. MC3 Libraries 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 results! When you click a box or change the year, your results list will update.
  10. 10. MC3 Libraries This left column can only provide basic focusing. Let’s try combining keywords for better results using the words… And • Or • Not
  11. 11. MC3 Libraries Start with your main topic. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder
  12. 12. MC3 Libraries However, you want to focus your topic on veterans suffering PTSD. So add a second keyword… Veterans Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder
  13. 13. MC3 Libraries Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder Veterans 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.
  14. 14. MC3 Libraries Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder Veterans 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.
  15. 15. MC3 Libraries Search “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and (veterans or child abuse)” OR is the way to examine multiple aspects of the same issue. This expands your results. Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder Veterans Child Abuse
  16. 16. MC3 Libraries Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder Iraq War 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
  17. 17. MC3 Libraries Need Help? Visit, Call, IM or Email Brendlinger Library (215) 641-6594 West Campus Library (610) 718-1864 IM a librarian