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Professional Seminar Research Resources: Search Strategies

Citation Chaining with Google Scholar

Once you've found one article that interests you, an easy way to find similar articles is to check out who has cited the original article. Google Scholar makes it really easy to find these other articles. 

Start at the Google Scholar homepage (scholar.google.com) and enter the name of the article in quotation marks (see below). 

From the results list, you should see the article you're looking for. To see which other articles have cited it since its publication, click on "Cited by ---" (highlighted below). 

Now you have a new results list of articles related to the original article. 

Searching by Journal

In addition to searching an entire database, you can also limit your search to a particular journal. To do this in any of the EBSCOhost databases listed under the "Resources" tab, simply enter your search terms in as many search boxes as necessary, and then add the name of the journal to the next search box. Putting quotation marks around the journal title will ensure that the database looks for those exact terms. Then, in the drop-down box, choose "SO Source" (see image below). 

Now you'll be searching only in that particular journal. 

Boolean Searching

Rather than typing a full sentence or question into a search box, using Boolean operators can help you create an efficient and effective database search.

In order to use Boolean operators, you need to know:

Boolean operators

  • AND:  both terms that you connect with AND msut be somehwere in the bibliographic record for that record to be retrieved.  AND narrows a search and retrieves fewer articles
  • OR:  only one of the search terms combined with OR is required for the bibliographic record t5o be retrieved.  OR broadens a search and retrieves more articles
  • NOT:  excludes a particular subset, category, or term.  NOT requires the presence of one search term and the exclusion of another.

Take a look at an example of a Boolean search here: http://library.albany.edu/subject/tutorials/education/boolean.html 

Truncation:  A symbol, specific to the search interface, which allows the retrieval of all endings for the specified base word. An asterisk (*) is often used.  For example, child* would retrieve records with children, childish, and every other word that begins with the root word "child."  

Wildcard:  A symbol, specific to the search interface, which allows the retrieval of various spellings of a word. A question mark is often used.  For example, wom?n would retrieve records with women or woman.  

Searching Multiple Databases

When you're searching for information related to teaching and learning, a simple trick can enable you to search multiple EBSCOhost databases at once, thereby maximizing your time spent searching. 

The simplest way to do this is to start at the database Education Research Complete. Just above the search box, click on "Choose Databases by Subject" (highlighted below). 

A screenshot of the databases search box

From the list, choose the box next to "Education" and then click "OK." 

Now, you'll search a collection of education-related databases at the same time, with any duplicates automatically filtered out of your search results.