My search results are too large?
Are you using Academic Search Premier or ProQuest Central? Those are both very broad, general databases. Change to a subject specific database.
Your search terms are too broad or you may need to limit your search by year, language, article type, etc. The best way to focus your search is to use subject headings. PubMed, CINAHL and PsycInfo have a rich thesaurus of search terms.
Using subject headings, especially adding subheadings, and/or making the term a major focus of the article, then adding limits will significantly reduce your search retrieval to a manageable size.
For additional help on how to search more efficiently, click on the Tutorials tab above.
My search results are too small?
First check your spelling.
Use other terms that mean the same as the term(s) you are using. Do not use abbreviations or acroynms.
How many words did you use? The more words you add, the less you will retrieve. For example, aphasia treatment after ischemic stroke in the hospital will give you a retrieval of zero. Try taking out some of the words.
Try the truncation symbol after a root word. For example: instead of communicative, try communi* for communicative, communication, communicating, communicate. Be careful with this method, though, as you will also get words unrelated to your topic, such as community and communicable.
You may want to change to another database if you are in a small, very specialized database.
Find related articles?
Did your database search give you one article that is just what you wanted? Look for the subject headings in the full record. In PubMed, you will need to click on MeSH Terms. When you have the list of headings, is there one term that matches your concept? Click on that term and you will get a list of all records in that database on that topic.
You might also try the Related Articles feature that is available in some databases.
All publications that are published on a regular, or periodical, basis are known as periodicals. These might be newspapers, newsletters, magazines, trade magzaines or professional journals.
See this guide from the University of Maryland Libraries: Identify and Locate Scholarly Journals
A journal is a peer reviewed or referreed professional publication that is published regularly. There are several ways to determine if an article is from a peer reviewed journal, the most obvious would be if Journal is part of the publication title. Research articles are published in journals, so if you have an article that was written by a research team or primary investigator, it will be in a professional journal. You can also check the publication web page. It will provide information about whether it is peer reviewed or the official publication of a professional association. Many databases will have an option to limit to Journals when searching for articles.
Magazines can be either trade magazines, which are written for professionals but are not peer reviewed, or general magazines that are written for readers who are not professionals in the field. Articles in both types of publications will be informational or how-to. They do not publish primary literature, but the articles might refer to published studies.
Some databases will help you create a search that just gives articles in professional journals. Look for a tab that says Journals or Academic, or some variation that indicates the database will limit to that subset. Other databases will have that option in the Limits feature.
An easy way to determine if a publication is a journal or not, is to use the Ulrich's Periodical Directory. In the search box, enter the title of the publication (not the article title.) Click on the title. If the publication is a professional journal, there will be a category that says Referreed Yes.
Use this Link to check Ulrich's Periodical Directory.
WYLD Databases: Wyoming residents can use the databases available to all citizens with a Wyoming public library. See Video Below.
If you live or will be moving out of state, ProQuest Databases will still be available to you through the Alumni Association login. Click here to register.
You also will have access to National Library of Medicine Resources resources:
List of All NLM Databases and Services
And other useful resources:
Also check the WebSites tab above for more.
Don't forget your library. Do you work in a hospital with a librarian? He/She is your best source of information. Some facilities have arrangements that will pay for articles purchased through publisher web sites or through an affiliation with an academic library. For print books, your public library will be able to provide interlibrary loan services.
There are a number of ways you can do this.
If the article has a fairly unique title, enter the article title in the box below. Our computer will check the libraries's databases for that article title.
If the article title is not very unique, you can try the Single Citation Matcher feature in PubMed. Be sure you have accessed PubMed through our library first, though, or our FindIT@UW button may not show up in the record. Use the Off Campus Access login if you are off campus. You will only need two or three elements of the citation to generate a list of articles.
You can also use our Citation Finder. In this search feature, you will need to fill out as many of the boxes as possible for a more exact search.
Look for the article by Journal title. Go to our eJournals List and enter the journal title. This will give you a list of our journal holdings that start with those words. Choose the appropriate journal title and check the dates of access. If we have the year of your article, click on that database or publisher link. This will give you a list of years. Some publisher web sites will want you to find an Archives or Issues link first. Click on the year of your article. This will give you a list of issues that were published that year. Click on the appropriate issue. This will give you the table of contents, with links to the article itself. Be sure to look for PDF, as that will give you the best reproduction of the article.