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Research 101

Journal Articles

Cyclone Search

This search is effective for seeing many of the resources available in the library on your topic all at once. It is especially good to use when you have a subject that spans several disciplines.

The Cyclone Search has its drawbacks. It often brings back more results than you need because of the large number of databases it searches, which can be overwhelming to read and evaluate Practice using effective keywords, boolean operators, and limiters found on the left-hand side of the screen to refine your search.

Subject Guides

​For every major/subject at Centenary, there are research guides with resources and tips for doing research in those disciplines. They are always a good place to start when doing research, and the links they provide to different databases are often going to be the most useful for your research.


Database Searching Tips

Use effective keywords and Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT, " ", *)

Often you have to try out different keywords before you get the right results. Brainstorm a lot of potential search terms by using synonyms and thinking about different ways to frame your topic. A good strategy is to start broad and use fewer keywords, then narrow your search and add on more keywords as you have a better idea of what is out their on your topic. ​Boolean operators refine your search results to make them more relevant to what you want.

Ex: Your topic is health in World War II concentration camps. You can start more broadly looking at "health" AND "World War II" to understand the general health care climate at the time. Then add the concentration camp piece.

There are also several ways to frame health. You could use a synonym like well-being or you could think of different terms that are associated with health like diet, medicine and living conditions.

Use the limiters on the side of your search results

Once you have put in your keywords and/or search string and are given a results list, most databases have restrictions, limiters, or filters on the left-hand side of the results that let you refine your list and get closer to what you want. Be sure to limit by full-text, peer-review, and the appropriate dates immediately!

Build Effective Search Strings

Use the AND, OR, & NOT Boolean commands to create search strings.

(spaghetti OR pasta) AND Italy

This search string tells the database to first look for items that contain the word spaghetti, pasta or both. Next, the database looks for items that contain the word Italy. Lastly, the database combines the two result sets into one set of results that contain three types of items:

with the word pasta AND Italy

with the word spaghetti AND Italy

with the words spaghetti AND pasta AND Italy

Use Truncation

Truncation tells the database to search the root of a word with multiple endings. Different databases may use different symbols to indicate truncation. Use an asterisk (*), question mark (?), or dollar sign ($) to truncate. Note: When in doubt, use an asterisk.

Ital*

This searches for the words Italy, Italiano, Italian, etc.


Finding a Specific Article

Search for the article using the information you have

​If you know the exact article you want, there are a couple ways to search for it.

One way is to plug the title of the article into the Cyclone Search. Don't forget to put quotes around it!

Another way is by using the Journal Titles Search, which will search by journal title, not article title, so you need to know in which journal your article was published. This searches all the journals Taylor Memorial  Library subscribes to for specific date ranges. Once you have found the journal you want, click on the date range that includes the year your article was published. You then need to find the exact issue your article is in and locate it within the issue. This will link you to the full text. You can also "search within this publication."