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Introduction to Doing Research: Advanced Searching

For those new or returning to research, this guide will help you to plan your research projects and use the library more effectively.

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Advanced Search Strategies Video

Subject Searching

Article Results

Why spend time trying to come up with subject terms when you can let the articles do the work for you?

Every scholarly article in our databases is already tagged with one or more subject headings. So, if you locate a relevant article and want to find more like it, you can use one of the article's subject headings to locate similar results.

Here's how it works:

When you find an article that sounds interesting, click the blue underlined title to see the detailed record. For example, I searched "polar bears" in our Academic Search Complete database and found this article about hibernation.

Depending on your topic, you might find interesting results by clicking on a subject heading to run the search automatically through the database.

Remember you can still apply limiters (e.g., date) to the results of a subject heading search the same as with any other search.

Example Article

Subjects - Limiters

Sidebars and Limiters

Most of the library's databases provide tools on the left- or right-hand side of the results screen with options to help narrow down your search. This is where you can apply different limiters, sometimes called filters, to your initial search terms.

Limiter options might include:

  • publication date
  • resource type
  • subject terms
  • geography

In Academic Search Complete and other databases from the EBSCOhost company, these limiters will appear on the left-hand side of the screen. By clicking "Show More" in the box labeled "Subject: Major Heading," you can select the terms you want to investigate further and view articles.

Whenever you refine a search, only apply one limiter at a time so that you don't accidentally filter out useful articles.

EBSCO Limiters Example

Beyond the Library

Beyond the Library

After you perform a search, you may notice a few different symbols at the end of each article on the results. The library has immediate, full-text access to many articles (so you can download and read them instantly), but this is not true for every article you find in the databases.

Some articles are indexed, meaning there is information about them, but we do not have access to the full-text of every article.

If you find an article that the library does not have in either HTML or PDF full-text, chances are we can borrow it from another library for you.

To request an article from another library, use the Article Linker button that will appear on articles without the full-text option.

Full-Text / Article Linker Example