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How to: Find Articles

Finding the Right Database to Search

  • Go to the ALADIN Databases. Some databases are suggested for all topics, but you can also click on “Databases by Subject.”
  • On the next page you can highlight subject areas in the boxes in the middle of the screen and click on "Go," OR you can click on a subject category in the browse list below. Be aware that you may wish to explore more than one category if your topic is interdisciplinary.
  • Look through the database descriptions on the lists that come up to see which ones might work for your topic. Be aware of format (scholarly journal articles, newpapers), and dates of coverage as well as subject area content.

Searching for Articles

Once you have chosen a database, you need to enter your search topic to find articles. Search techniques vary by database but in general you should be able to:

  • Search for a phrase: The database either knows that two words typed next to each other should be searched together or uses characters like quotation marks around words that should be searched as a phrase.
“American Indians”
  • Combine terms with AND, OR, NOT:

“American Indians” AND diabetes

“American Indians” OR “Native Americans”

“American Indians” NOT Athabaskan

  • Use parentheses to group concepts or place concepts in a series of search boxes to group them:
(“American Indians” OR “Native Americans”) AND diabetes
  • Use a wild card character like a question mark (?) or a pound sign (#) to retrieve alternate endings:
(“American Indian?” OR “Native American?”) AND diabet?

If you are not sure how to do a search in a database look for a help icon. Most databases have a help feature that can give you more tips on searching that specific database. You can also always ask a librarian for help.