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Use more than one database to make sure you're finding the most perspectives on your research question. Databases are often organized by subject (for example, Sport Science or Psychology). Specialized subject databases can help you search more precisely in your field. Find subject databases in your field by clicking the Databases A-Z link below the 1Search entry field on the OSU Libraries homepage. On the databases page, sort your results by subjects to see a suggested list of databases in your field.
Learn more about searching in subject databases by watching this tutorial.
Once you have found some relevant or important articles on your topic, one way to expand your search is through citation searching. Citation searching looks for all of the articles or books that have cited your initial paper since it was written. There are two main databases you can use for this kind of search: Web of Science and Google Scholar. Both of these databases cover somewhat different sources, so it can be helpful to try both.
Search by the first author's name. Web of Science is picky - enter the last name first and then the first initial(s) without a period.
Find the entry that matches the article you had in mind. Especially look at the Cited Work and Year Column. Select that entry, then choose Finish Search.
Located some promising article citations within an OSU Libraries database? The next step is to get the actual article. In most of our databases, that begins by clicking the Find it @ OSU button:
This will take you to a page where you can access the PDF or HTML full-text of the article, by clicking on the publisher's link:
If we don't subscribe to that particular journal, click Request from interlibrary loan. After you request the article, you will receive an email with a link to the article, typically within 13 hours.
Most of us start a search with key words that we want to explore. Some additional search approaches are to:
Here are some tricks of the trade to make your searches more effective (these work in most databases):
Searching in Google? Try these tricks:
From: Hack College, Get More Out of Google
Look for subject databases:
Try out a citation search:
Try searching for review articles:
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