Articles in scholarly journals are particularly important to college-level research. Search for articles in databases and look for an option to limit your search to peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.
Databases can also include magazine & newspaper articles. Although not scholarly, articles in these publications can provide additional voices and perspectives.
The Look, MGN, Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
1. Experiment with different synonyms and related terms
2. Look for alternative search terms in reference sources
3. Use an asterisk to stand in for variant endings
migra* = migrant, migration, migratory, etc.
4. Use quotation marks to "glue together" a phrase
5. Using AND between terms, limits results to only items that include both terms
"case studies" AND assimilation
6. Using OR between terms (with parentheses), widens results to items that include either term
(refugee OR "asylum seeker")
Keyword searches only look for words. Subject headings group like-items together using specific terms devised by the Library of Congress. These terms can be discovered in an item's catalog record.
Sample LOC subjects:
FINDING LITERARY CRITICISM ABOUT A SPECIFIC AUTHOR
KEYWORD Search: "author’s name" AND critic*
"Zadie Smith" AND critic* (critic* = critics, criticism, and critical )
SUBJECT Search: "author's last name, first name" using first-drop down in CBBcat and selecting Subject. In the results, look for the subdivision: Criticism and Interpretation.
Cisneros, Sandra (entered using the subject field)
(A subject search yields material about an author. An author search yields material by an author.)
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Not finding what you want in CBBcat?
Look on the CBBcat search result page for a link to MaineCat, which expands your search to other Maine libraries.