the next step…

So, in my recent May 6 post,  I showed you how to look for and request books on a topic of interest using Summit.  Now, let’s work together to see how you can find articles!  

Academic Search Premier is one of the main databases students use to find articles in journals and magazines.  As a matter of fact, students seem to really like this database because of the simplicity of its interface and its ability to retrieve full-text articles (full-text means that you can retrieve the text of the article right on your screen)!

Here is how you may get to this database on or off-campus:

–          Start with the COCC Barber library web page.

–          Under “Articles & More: Databases,” select  All Databases and hit Go.

–          Academic Search Premier is listed first.  Go ahead and click on it!

–          After you press on Continue, you enter the database and you are ready to search!

Now notice that a search using the phrase “birth order,” similar to the one I described on May 6, will give you more than a thousand of results!  You see, compared to books, articles tend to focus much more on very specific topics.  As a consequence, a broad topic such as birth order tends to produce hundreds and hundreds of results on any possible issue that may relate to the subject area.  That’s why it’s always a good idea to start thinking of ways you may need to narrow down when your database search gives you way too many results.

For example, here are some searches you may try on the topic of birth order: 

birth order and intelligence

birth order and first born child*

birth order and psycholog*

Did you notice the * symbol in these last two searches?  Well, this is a clever way to tell the database that you want it to search for all possible endings of a word (child, children; psychology, psychological, etc, etc)!  Also, the “and” between your words tells the database to look for ALL of these words simutaneously.

Next, in the list of your results, you get article citations with the indication HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text.  This indication means that you are able to retrieve the article right on your computer screen!  Isn’t this cool? Hooray!  No need to take a trip to the library! If an article is NOT available full-text through the Academic Search Premier database, you will see the link Request this item through interlibrary loan, which you may use so that we can get this article for you from another library (this is called “interlibrary loan,” a completely free and wonderful service!). 

Try a few other searches yourself!  What do you think?  Aren’t students right when they say they love Ebsco’s Academic Search Premier?

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