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are some general tips and helpful hints for using article
your search terms simple and type only one or two words
in each text box.
You are not required to enter search terms in every empty
box. Just use as many as you need to construct your search.
A “keyword” search is usually more fruitful
than a “subject” search.
In Ebsco databases, "Select a Field (Optional) " = keyword search.
Using “and” will narrow your search. The database
will only retrieve articles that contain both of your search
Using “or” will broaden your search. The database
will find all articles using either of your search terms
as well as those that contain both.
you frustrated with irrelevant results? Try using “not”
to limit your search to more specific results. For example,
searching for “dolphins” may result in articles
about football. Try searching for “dolphins”
If you’re in a hurry, look for “full-text only”
options – usually a check-box or radio button.
Can’t print right now? Email articles to yourself
and print them later.
Most programs allow you to save interesting items while
you’re browsing and view them later. Look for “Add
to folder” (Ebsco), “Mark” (FirstSearch, InfoTrac,
and Gale), or “Tag” (LexisNexis) check boxes.
Check the items that interest you. When you’re ready,
open the folder or mark list to view, print, email, or download
the articles you’ve saved.
If you need research articles (describing research methods,
data, results, etc.), use “research” as one
of your search terms. Limit this type of search to full-text.
Have you been told to find “scholarly” articles?
Look for an option that will limit your results to “peer-reviewed,”
“refereed,” or “scholarly” journals.
PDF or HTML? Sometimes your article will be available in
both formats. Which one should you choose?
HTML is plain text. Sometimes photos, charts, footnotes,
sidebars, etc., are not included in the HTML view. However,
HTML is easy to print and saves paper, because headlines
and other formatting are not included.
PDF displays the article exactly as it appeared in print.
Photos and other graphics appear in context. Occasionally,
irrelevant articles may appear on the same page, but
sidebars, graphs and charts, footnotes, and other supplemental
materials are included in full color. (requires Adobe
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