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McNair Scholars: 6. Search More Strategically

Advanced/Specialized Tips

In addition to searching by keyword or subject, most databases offer you ways to limit your results. Use them to narrow your search to just the articles likely to be most useful. 

You may see limits below the search box(es) BEFORE you run a search

Limits before searching

or limits on the side AFTER you run a search.

Limits after searching

You may even see a Thesaurus to help you choose the best subjects.

Browse Thesaurus

Journals Search (Find our periodicals)

Research@UWW Journal Search button

Have you found the citation for an article you want in another article's bibliography or on Google Scholar? You can use the libraries' Journals Search to see whether and where the Whitewater libraries has the periodical (journal, magazine, or newspaper) that the article came from. Start by typing the periodical title (not the article title) in the box below. This is also available from the libraries' homepage.

Backward & Forward Searching

Once you have a pivotal article (A), you will find it useful to trace research related to it in order to find more articles that could prove useful to your research. Tracing works two ways:

  • Backwards to find older articles that article (A) cited; and
  • Forwards to find newer articles that cited article (A)

The below video explains the basics of this.

Some other library databases have similar features, so be on the lookout for them.

Here are a few databases that have backward tracing. Under each is brief instructions of what to do when you find an article you like on a list of search results. Web of Science also has forward tracing.