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 Help and Research Tips

Whenever you have questions about information resources or library research strategies, we want to help! See Ask a Librarian for all the ways to contact us and frequently asked questions. In addition to the tips found here, see also our subject guides, course guides, general research guides, research video tutorials, and how-to guidesFor clarification of specific class assignments and requirements, always check with your professor.

Books
Internet
Other
Search Strategy
Cite & Write
Scholarly Journals E-Journals Newspapers Other Libraries

When you need to find journal or magazine articles on a particular topic, start with a periodical index in electronic format, i.e., a library research database.

1.  Begin by selecting Databases A-Z in the top horizontal menu, and then click on the name of a desired database (the info links will provide more information about a particular database). A broad-based, academically oriented database like Academic Search Complete is a good choice, but be aware that databases that focus on a particular subject (such as ERIC for education or PsycINFO for psychology) offer more in-depth coverage and more sophisticated, discipline-specific subject terminology and search options. To find databases recommended for different subjects, choose Resources by Subject in the top navigation menu. 

2.  Think of keywords, short phrases, or possible subject terms that are appropriate for your topic (if provided, you may want to check the database's thesaurus or subject terms list)

3.  Create a search strategy using Boolean operators (especially OR, AND) and possibly truncation or wildcard operators (*):

  • advertising or advertisements or marketing
  • consumer spending and teenagers
  • advertis* and (teenor adolescen* or youth) and (tobacco or smoking or cigarette*)

4.  Your search will retrieve records that matched your terms, such as these article citations from Academic Search Complete.

5.  The first entry includes a link to the complete article in PDF full text while the second does not. Clicking the Article Linker button or Check for possible full text link in the second entry would open a window in the UHCL Journals List, where you can see whether Neumann Library has full text from another online source. If not, a Journal link to the Library Catalog indicates the library may have a paper or microform copy of the specific issue needed (Vol. 34, Issue 11, Nov. 2009).  If needed, see document delivery options available through Interlibrary Loan service.

For more information about how to search, including use of operators and wildcards, see the Search Strategy tab above. For more detailed help on searching specific databases, see how-to guides, including Keys to Finding What You Need in Library Research Databases (guide).

Comments about this page?
Contact Susan Steele     steele@uhcl.edu
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