Select search words, and possibly set limits on your results (either before or after your search)
Translate your topic into search words.
Try to be both comprehensive and detailed when searching, although when you first start you may have only a broad topic that reading some articles will help you focus more narrowly.
Check if there are limits that you can set on the search page, such as date or type of publication. In many cases you can do this after running your search too.
Do not limit results to items that are full-text in the databases you are searching, because the full text may be in other databases ("Find It" will help you determine that later).
Select article databases to search
To search for articles in magazines, journals, and newspapers, choose UW-Whitewater libraries' article databases based on your research topic. For example, if your topic has to do with business, choose business databases. Some databases cover a variety of subject areas, while others are more specialized. If you don't know which database(s) to use, ask a reference librarian, or go to the Databases A to Z list and use the subjects drop-down list.
For research in this class, you might start with:
For information on how to tell the difference between a scholarly article and a popular (i.e., non-scholarly) article, see the online library user guide: Scholarly Journal vs. Popular Magazine Articles.
Evaluate your results (revise your search if needed) and select appropriate articles
How many results are found? Did you get too few? Too many? Do the titles seem relevant to your topic?
You can see subjects assigned to the articles and you can add or remove them, or amend your entire search with words from article abstracts, subject headings, and titles. Watch how the changes affect the number of results and how relevant they are.
How do you know whether an article is scholarly or not? Check out the Scholarly Journal v. Popular Magazine Articles guide.
Obtain citation information and either print or save the articles selected. In some databases you can get help with citation formatting.
In Research@UWW and in some other databases, e.g., Ebscohost databases, you can save articles and/or searches to your account. If you do not login to an account, saving only lasts during your current session. If you have an account the saved materials will be there the next time you login.
(optional): Run your search in other databases for additional results
In many cases you can just copy and paste a search from one database into another, e.g., copy a search used to search Ebscohost databases into ProQuest ABI/Inform (a business article database).
Most databases have some full text articles in addition to article citations. When an article is not available in that database, use to determine whether and where Andersen Library has a specific article.
If you are not in a database, find journal holdings in Research@UWW to determine whether and where the Library has a particular periodical (journal, magazine or newspaper).