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Articles: Find Articles on Your Topic: Search Tips

Need articles for your research project? Here's how to get them!


View a brief video tutorial via YouTube (closed captioned):

Evaluate Your Results

  • Be choosy. An article can contain all your keywords but still not be useful.
  • Scan titles of the articles for clues to what they're about. 
  • If you spot an interesting title, click on it to view the abstract, a short summary of the article.

Doing a Database Search

Computer searches look for the words you typed--not the idea you meant, or what you really wanted. So your choice of words has a direct and measurable effect on your search results.

  • Think of keywords (important words describing your topic)
  • For each aspect of your topic, choose a keyword, and combine the most important ones for your search

Example: If your topic is how drinking affects college students' success in school, you might try the keywords:

drinking college students grades

If you get no results or too few results, try different keywords. Think of synonyms and related terms.

Examples: For drinking, try alcohol. For grades, try academic achievement.

More tips:

  • If you have too many results, try adding a keyword, or using a more specific keyword.
  • Avoid long phrases or questions. Use only the most important words.
  • Avoid punctuation, particularly colons (:), which may interfere with your search

But it has to be Scholarly!

Scholarly journals, sometimes called academic or peer-reviewed or refereed, are special kind of publication. Usually, they publish articles of original research that are written by experts for other experts.

In EBSCOhost Academic Search Premier, you can limit your seach to only scholarly/academic journals by marking a box on the main search screen, or by choosing this option on the search results page:

EBSCOhost's "Limit to" options. The first choice is "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals."

In OneSearch, the limit options appear to the left of your search results. 

In OneSearch, the option is labeled "Peer-reviewed Journals."