Finding Journal Articles: Search Tips

Formulating Your Search Strategy

Searching for Journal Articles

While article databases have a variety of interfaces, or appearances, the strategy for searching them is generally the same. To search an article database:

  • Go to the search page
  • Enter your search terms into the search box. Think of the best words that describe your topic.
  • For the best results, combine keywords using AND & OR.
  • Another useful search technique is called truncation - a feature which allows you to replace one or more letters in a word with a symbol, usually an asterisk (e.g., farm*). Truncation broadens your search, allowing you to easily search for many words at once. Farm* would search for farm, farms, farmer, farmers, farming, etc.
 

AND narrows your search

ex: saskatchewan and agriculture

Both terms must be present

OR broadens your search

ex: agriculture or farming

Either one term or both must be present

* broadens your search

ex: farm*

Finds farm, farms, farmer, farmers, farming, etc.

 

  • Once you have entered your keywords, select the search button. This will produce a list of results.
  • If you don’t have enough results, broaden your search using more keywords joined by OR.  If you have too many results, narrow your search using more keywords joined by AND.
  • The result list will consist of article titles, article authors, journal titles, journal volume, numbers, dates, and other related information (you will need this for your bibliography).
  • To access the full-text of an article, look for the following options: pdf full-text, html full-text, linked full-text, etc. Click that link to read the complete article online. 
  • If you cannot think of keywords or if your search is unsuccessful, ask for help!

Journal Article Links