FINDING SCHOLARLY ARTICLESBy searching the Library databases
GENERAL INFORMATION Peer-reviewed, juried, or scholarly articles can most easily be found through the Library’s online databases. You may need to broaden or narrow your topic to find the information you need for your research. A librarian can help with this. The Library has both general and discipline- specific databases. Be sure to choose the one(s) that best suits your topic. Again, a librarian is a great resource for this.
CHOOSING SEARCH TERMS The Library’s databases work differently than Google or other search engines. You will not get good results if you use natural language searching. (The electoral college should be eliminated; presidential elections should be decided by popular vote) Instead, you should do a keyword search. Do this by selecting the most important words from your thesis statement. (“electoral college” “popular vote” “presidential elections”) Keep phrases together by putting them in quotes, as above.
ADVANCED SEARCHING(USING THE BOOLEAN TERMS AND & OR)EXAMPLE THESIS STATEMENT: THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE SHOULD BE ELIMINATED; PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS SHOULDBE DECIDED BY POPULAR VOTE.AND OR AND requires both words OR allows either word to be present in each hit. be present in each hit. Narrows your search. Expands your search EXAMPLE: EXAMPLE: “Presidential elections”: 5197 “Popular vote”: 1011 hits hits “Direct democracy”: 649 “Electoral college”: 930 hits hits “Presidential elections” AND “Popular vote” OR “direct “electoral college”: 90 hits democracy”: 1642 hits AND Venn diagram OR Venn diagram
Some things to keep in mind: Scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journals Your professors will often expect you to use scholarly journal articles in your research. Most of the Library’s databases will allow you to limit your search to only this type of journal. Basic/Simple Search vs. Advanced Search Basic Search is best used when searching for one keyword or phrase. Advanced Search can be used for any type of search. Abstract vs. Full Text Not all of the articles that come up in your search will be full text. Many will be abstracts only. An abstract is a brief summary of an article, kind of like a movie trailer. Full-text means that you can access the entire article in either PDF or HTML format. If the Library only has the abstract for an article you want, we can get it for you from another library. Talk to a librarian about Interlibrary Loan. This usually takes at least day or two, so plan in advance.
LOOKING AT A BASIC SEARCH PAGE (USING ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER) Choose your search type. This shows which database you’re in.Check this boxif you want tolimit yoursearch to ONLYscholarly Check this box if you want to limit your search to ONLYarticles. articles with full text. Academic Search Premier defaults to Basic Search.
LOOKING AT AN ADVANCED SEARCH PAGE (USING ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER)These drop- Multiple search boxes make it easier to conductdown boxes complex searches.contain Booleansearch terms.Check this box Check this box if you want to limit your search to ONLYif you want to articles with full text.limit yoursearch to ONLYscholarlyarticles.
Contact the Information Desk: Phone: 208-792-2236 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org IM: click the meebo link on our homepage: http://www.lcsc.edu/library/NEED MORE HELP?Ask a librarian!