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SED Mathematics/Science Education Guide to Library Support Services

Supports the SED curriculum

Databases

Finding Articles

Many college-level assignments ask you to find articles. The library provides access to many different kinds of articles from international newspaper articles to popular magazine articles to scholarly journal articles. Whether you are starting with an idea for a topic or the citation for a specific article, the library can get you the article you need. 

Use this page to figure out what type of article works best for your situation and how to develop a search strategy. 

Choosing a Database

Online databases are a good place to start when you are searching for articles -- especially scholarly and peer-reviewed articles. Databases are searchable collections of research and other articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. You can search for articles by topic or, if you already know the information, by author or title.

Databases often include the full text of their articles, which allows you to read an article online, download it, or print a copy. Not all articles in a database include the article's full text.

  • Go to the Library home page and click on Databases A-Z (below the search box). This will take you to an alphabetical list of all our databases.
  • To see a list of databases recommended for a specific discipline, use the Subject drop-down on Databases A-Z. Select a subject area from the drop-down and click Search. 
  • Most databases include a brief description which tells you more about the type of materials included in the database and the topics and time periods it covers.

Finding an Article's Full Text

Once you find your article's entry in a database, check whether the database provides the full-text article. If it does, the database will provide a link to a "full-text PDF", "full text available online", or something similar.

If the database doesn't provide a full-text article, click on the FindIt@OSU button to see if OSU subscribes to the electronic or the paper copy of the journal. FindIt@OSU will open a new window and will display a link to full-text when available. If not, request the article from Interlibrary Loan

Searching a Database

The most effective way to search the online databases is to enter terms or keywords that effectively describe your topic.

  • Use broad, meaningful keywords when you search. Don't use sentences or phrases.
  • Use just a few keywords (1-3). You can always add keywords later if you need to refine your search.
  • Use the facets or limits to help refine your search. For example, you can narrow your search by date or by geographic region.
  • When you review your results, look at the abstracts or subject headings for other keywords you can use to improve your search.
  • Be prepared to do several searches. Research is a process that takes time.

 

Smart searching

When searching in catalogs and databases:

  • Be creative in the words you use; if one doesn't work, try something else. Think of words with related meaning, such as natural resource management or restoration or conservation
  • Begin with keywords, and use the subjects found in the articles that come up to find more information
  • Use quotation marks around phrases, so they won't be searched as individual words.
  • Use advanced search features in catalogs and databases to limit by date, language, type of article, etc