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Basic Library Research & Writing: 7. Finding Articles

Research

Boolean and Truncation Video

If your instructor has asked you to watch library videos and take quizzes, you need to do that through the Information Literacy course in Blackboard. The course should be listed under your Blackboard list of "My Courses" in the left navigation menu.

Searching with Subjects Video

If your instructor has asked you to watch library videos and take quizzes, you need to do that through the Information Literacy course in Blackboard. The course should be listed under your Blackboard list of "My Courses" in the left navigation menu.

Finding Articles

When doing Library research, students like to use articles. Why? Because they are fairly short, as well as being to the point. Additionally, many of these can be found in a full text format through U-Search and the Library's databases. One caution, use only information that fits your topic. Many articles are on a narrow topic and some students will try too hard make it fit, even though it's unrelated to their topic.  This can lead to a lower quality paper and possibly a lower grade.

To find articles on your topic, you need to be able to identify keywords, as we explained on the Choosing Keywords tab. You must be willing to search with different combinations of keywords using Boolean Searching, and be able to Search by Subject, as demonstrated in the videos on this page. You must also be willing to try using other resources, if U-Search does not provide you with relevant articles when searching by using different keywords and subject headings.

Using U-Search on the Library's home page searches many of the Library's databases at one time. This makes it extremely useful. Search U-Search for articles using the same basic techniques that you learned on the Finding Books & E-Books page and the videos previously mentioned. To find additional information in other Library databases, use the Find Articles link on the Library homepage and choose one or more subjects from the pulldown window relevent to your topic. You can then find more databases to search by looking for those that do NOT have the U-Search logo next to them, starting with the likely databases on a gold background at the top of the list.

When searching in U-Search and other Library databases, you may not always find the full text of the article - it may not have a link to the full text or a link that says PDF full text. In this case, the database just has a citation and an ABSTRACT.  Do NOT use the information in the abstract of the article. The abstract is a short description often written by another person describing the article. These are much less detailed and can occasionally be WRONG. If you cite the abstract and not the actual article, you will most likely either fail or be graded down on an assignment.  If you do not see a link to the full text of the article, you can try to see if the full text of the article may be available in online Library resource by using Full Text Finder, which replaces 360 Link, or possibly going through Interlibrary Loan. Before you do, check RamCat to see if the Library owns the PRINT version of the journal AND the issue that your article is in.  If so, you can find the article in the relevant journal physically in the Library.

Librarian's Hint: Finding an article on the web does NOT always mean that it is AUTHORITATIVE and ACCURATE. The Library resources are better than using the Internet, but YOU still need to determine if the information is reliable enough for you to use. Check the Evaluating Sources page and videos for more help.

 

-Mark Allan