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DIY Research Guide

Quick lessons on how to best use the library's resources.

If you want to search for articles:

  • comprehensively (across all library sources)   USE   Smart Search Option for Articles
  • with precision (seeing all your options)   USE   Databases for Articles
  • focused on your major or class (filtering out irrelevant content)   USE   Departmental Guides for Articles
  • quickly (potentially missing relevant articles)   USE   Discovery System Search for Articles

Find Articles

While there are several different ways to find articles, we created the Smart Search option to be the most comprehensive search presented as simply as possible.

Step One -- Click on the 'Articles' button under Smart Search Options.












Step Two -- Decide among the four options and then follow the instructions on the screen for the one that you choose. 

Selecting the best database for your purpose can lead you to the best articles and save you a great deal of time.  Learning how to use our 'Databases A to Z' list is an essential part of learning how to select the best search tool.

Step One -- Click on the 'Databases A to Z' button under Smart Search Options.


Step Two -- Use the filters at the top of the page to create a smaller list of databases specific to your need.



Step Three -- Slowly and carefully read each database description to decide whether you should click into a particular database and start exploring.



The best way to search for articles related to your class or major use a guide specific to your academic discipline.

Step One -- Click on the 'Articles' button under Smart Search Options.












Step Two -- Select "Articles by Subject"


Step Three -- Click on the discipline you from the list.  For example, "Computer Science".



Step Four -- Take the time to carefully read each database description and select the best database for your purpose.  In this example, we are selecting the first database that has been tagged as a "Best Bet" for Computer Science.



Step Five -- Considering all of the database that the library offers there are dozens of search interfaces with similar search features.  Seek help from the library to learn search strategies that apply across all database, then familiarize yourself with the particular features of the database or databases you will use most often.  In this case you can see the home page for the ACM database.


The quickest way to retrieve article records starting from the home page is to use the default search box that we have set up for our discovery interface.  This can be very confusing for many users because retrieval will include books and other formats along with articles.

Step One -- Simply type in your keyword(s) and click on "Search".  In this example, we are searching on the concept "trained seals".

Step Two -- You must click on the desired filter in the left navigation bar to get rid of all the non-article content that has been retrieved by your keywords.



Step Three -- After clicking on the "Articles" filter, you will notice a more manageable number of items retrieved that are limited to just articles (red highlighting).  You will also see on the left (yellow highlighting) which filters are active.  You can use more than one filter to get an even more precise and manageable retrieval list.