Get Pro-Tips from ProQuest Research Companion

We’ve mentioned before that, as a student, you’re like an explorer on a quest – a quest for knowledge. Without a map or some other form of guidance, you’ll be lost. You must follow a clear path to discovery, or you’ll wander a sea of fog.


Much like this poor fellow, who went in search of Chicago crime statistics and was lost to history.

proquestFortunately, Scott Community College is full of resources to help you, from your instructors to your friendly library staff to great electronic resources such as ProQuest Research Companion.

If you have little experience writing a college-level academic paper, ProQuest Research Companion is like a course on how to write research papers.


There are several modules organized in a step-by-step process that explains exactly how to write a paper – from finding a topic to evaluating information to revising your final drafts.


The modules even give you an idea of how long it will take you to get through each one. Some modules come with special tools, such as the Topic Aid. Similar to Academic OneFile’s Topic Finder, the Topic Aid is helpful for both finding your topic and narrowing your thesis.


When we type in “politics”, it comes up with 100 examples of related topics.


The Coffee Party has a refreshingly specific platform.

Perhaps we decide to narrow our focus to Political Action Committees or PACs. We click on the link among the listed topics and the first thing we see is a warning: “Articles available via the Topic Aid come from ProQuest’s eLibrary. They are not scholarly and, in general, should not be cited in a formal research paper.”

That means we can’t cite what we find in ProQuest. We can, however, mine their eLibrary for data that will lead us to resources we can cite.


Rachel Louise Ensign wrote this article about PACs. She’s likely written others on the same subject. This article also gives us the names of people interviewed and the institutes for which they work. We can look up those names in other electronic resources, such as EBSCO, Opposing Viewpoints, or the aforementioned Academic OneFile. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, try using ProQuest Researcher’s Search Aid – it gives you alternative terms to search that will bring you related results.

One thing many students struggle with is determining whether or not a source is acceptable to use in a research paper. Most of our electronic databases have the option to limit searches to only academic or peer-reviewed material. If you’re using Google or a database that includes popular publications, however, you’ll have to carefully evaluate these sources to decide if you can cite them.

We recommend using the 5 W’s – Why, Who, What, Where, and When – to evaluate resources for suitability. Why did the author write this? Who is the author? What is their motive? Where did they get their information? When did they write it/is it current?

After you’ve evaluated a resource on your own, double check your findings with ProQuest’s Source Evaluation Aid.


This tool is not foolproof – all it can do it collect the same information that is readily available in the source you’re evaluating. It’s really only good for double checking to make sure you didn’t miss anything obvious.

For example, we used the Evaluation Aid to check this article about California’s floundering Velcro crop, and this was the return:


Ph.D. from where? Liar University? Google this – “Where did Kenneth Umbach get his Ph.D.?”

The final section of modules, titled “Use Information,” will help you make sure every element of a good research paper is present in your final draft.


While ProQuest’s citation builder is pretty reliable, we always recommend cross-checking with your text book and/or Purdue University’s very well-curated Online Writing Lab (OWL).

One of the best aspects of ProQuest’s Research Companion is that it left a special place for reflection following the completion of your paper: How Can I Do Better Next Time? It reminds us of a favorite Samuel Beckett quote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Aside from being a golden example of parallel sentence structure, Beckett’s notion is one that all students – in fact, all people – should recall when questing. Whether you’re on a quest for knowledge, for glory, or just for some mad money, always be on the lookout for a better way to accomplish your goals. Just as the experienced explorer outperforms the novice, so does the writer only improve through practice.

Get your practice in. Check out ProQuest Research Companion. Or stop into the library! In addition to our friendly staff, we also offer a writing tutor four days a week and now, citation workshops!



CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoints in Context: Researching Controversial Topics Made Easy

When you need to write a paper that requires you to present an argument, we recommend going straight to CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoints in Context have quite a few similarities.  This post will help you make the best use of both of them.  If you have already read our post on how to use Opposing Viewpoints in Context, you’ll find CQ Researcher easy to use.  We did a sample search on gun control to showcase how each one works.

CQ Researcher contains articles written by journalists.  It’s ideal when you need reporting and analysis.  The articles are carefully researched and referenced (the main topic page for gun control in CQ Researcher contains 80 footnotes!), with the links going to articles that are available free of charge online.  CQ Researcher presents you with ideas, making it an ideal place to start your research and develop your topic.  If you need scholarly or peer-reviewed articles to back up the ideas in the paper you turn in, you may need to do additional research in the Academic OneFile or EBSCO databases.


CQ Researcher is a collection of reports on various topics, written exclusively for CQ Researcher.  Each main topic report provides a central comprehensive analysis of the topic, researched and written by a journalist.  The articles have a reputation for balanced, unbiased reporting.

The fact that CQ Researcher is a collection of reports makes it function a little differently from some of our other databases.  When you search Academic OneFile or EBSCO, there is such a large selection of articles that you will almost always find articles that fit your topic.  When you search CQ Researcher, it’s possible that you will find articles that only fit your topic tangentially, or possibly there won’t even be one that’s helpful to you.

When you do a search, the search results are sorted by relevance by default.  The first result will generally be for the main topic page if one exists for the topic.  If you prefer to see the most recent information on a topic, sort by Newest instead.  CQ Researcher is updated each week, but you may find that the main topic page for the issue you’re investigating hasn’t been updated for several years.  In some cases, there isn’t a good match between available reports and the topic you want to explore.

From the main topic page, you can locate pro and con perspectives, which can be good starting places for identifying some of the key controversies associated with each issue.  Tip:  if you have to present both the pro and con of an issue in your paper, try the Browse Reports menu to see all of the Pro/Con write-ups that are available.

What we like best about CQ Researcher: if there is a topic page for your topic, you’ll get a thoroughly researched, analytical article with a pro/con essay section.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context tends to have more recent articles and tends to cover a broader range of topics.  The layout is easy to navigate.  Viewpoints provide short essays that highlight a particular facet of the issue.  These generally include questions to spur critical thinking and may include resources for further reading.  For scholarly articles, see Academic JournalsOpposing Viewpoints in Context is rich in multimedia sources, making it simple to find videos, images, podcasts, radio news stories, and maps, and to find links to reputable websites on the topic.  Opposing Viewpoints in Context, like Academic OneFile and other Gale products, provides audio files for all articles; these can be listened to while online or downloaded and listened to using an MP3 player.


Opposing Viewpoints in Context functions more like a standard database, pulling up an assortment of viewpoints, academic articles, and multimedia resources related to the search term you put in.  While you do get many more options, you don’t get a tidy report like you do with CQ Researcher.

For debate teams across the country, Opposing Viewpoints in Context is the top pick for their preparatory research.  Having so many Viewpoint reports to select from is a big plus.

We found that Viewpoint reports vary widely in the quality of their referencing; some had substantial lists of resources at the end while others had none listed, and none had footnotes or other obvious citations of the works used to write the Viewpoint.  Because of this, students are likely to need to do additional research to find the original source of the information they use or to find scholarly or peer-reviewed sources to back up the claims they make.

What we like best about Opposing Viewpoints in Context: up-to-the-minute content and tons of multimedia resources.

These two resources are excellent for finding information that can help shape an argument for or against a controversial topic, but should be viewed in light of what they can and cannot provide.  Use these for brainstorming and developing arguments, but know that some research papers will require additional resources.  Check with your instructor to make sure you know what resources are acceptable for your assignment.

Films On Demand

Sometimes it takes seeing a concept in action for it to click.  A video can help a tricky theory or process make a lot more sense.  For these situations, we love Films On Demand.

Films On Demand has over 19,000 streaming educational videos, covering a wide range of academic areas.  Automotive technology?  Got it.  Shakespeare plays?  Check.  The Krebs cycle?  It’s there.  It’s like a college-level YouTube.


You’ll also find documentary films, acclaimed television series, and archival news reels.  While it may not replace Netflix for your weekend entertainment binge fests—although there are videos from HBO, BBC, A&E and other big names—there’s a lot here that will be of interest.

The search and browse options make it easy to find relevant videos.  Search results show video segments, making it especially effortless to get to just the right part of a video.  Advanced Search lets you filter by subject area or video type for extra fine-tuning.

Almost all content on Films On Demand has a complete transcript and closed captioning.  Transcripts are particularly helpful when you want to cite a quote from a video, and you can search the transcripts using the Advanced Search feature to help you find even brief mentions of topics.

Note to faculty: Films On Demand is designed to be easy to embed in online classrooms.

To access Films On Demand, log in to EICConnect and click on Library under the Menu icon in the upper left corner of the page.  Click on Electronic Resources to see all of the databases available to you from your computer or mobile device.  If you’re using one of the computers on campus, you can also access these from the Library home page (click on “A list of electronic resources can be found here”).

Country Watch: Website to the World

Country Watch

If your studies have any international component, you can find a wealth of information in our Country Watch database.  It’s an excellent resource for statistics and data about different countries, but also is updated with current events and policy briefings on a daily basis.  It provides both quick facts and more in-depth exploration of just about any topic with a global aspect.

To access Country Watch, log in to EICConnect and click on Library under the Menu icon in the upper left corner of the page.  Click on Electronic Resources to see all of the databases available to you from your computer or mobile device.  If you’re using one of the computers on campus, you can also access these from the Library home page (click on “A list of electronic resources can be found here”).

  • CountryReviews provide information on the politics, economics, social conditions, and environmental factors on each country.  Most CountryReviews consist of about 200 pages of information!  The reviews also include unique indexes comparing different aspects of countries; look for indexes of perception of government corruption, life satisfaction, economic competitiveness, and human development, among others.
  • CountryWire is your source for news from nearly anywhere in the world.  The news stories are pulled from international and local news sources, providing more complex and varied information than is normally found in most American news sources.  It’s particularly interesting to see the perspective of stories from the viewpoint and cultural context of different nations.
  • CountryData supplies data on economic and industry factors such as government budget, trade exports, and agricultural production, as well as demographics such as population.  These can easily be compared across countries or years using the menu selections.
  • CountryMaps contains standard physical/political maps (updated frequently) as well as thematic maps that apply data from CountryWatch Data (CountryData).  Thematic maps include religions, literacy rates, life expectancy, water availability, and more.
  • Political Intelligence Briefing and Political Intelligence Wire provide current information, policy updates, and news highlights.  The Political Intelligence Briefing includes a national spotlight, information on highlighted government and politics, and updates on elections occurring around the world.  The Political Intelligence Wire is updated weekly with a selection of news stories.   These would be good sections to visit regularly to help increase your awareness of global events.
  • Global Guide consists of stories written about specific issues and events occurring around the world.  Interesting Facts presents tidbits about changing nations.  Learn more about… covers key political concepts such as globalization and nationalism.  International Hot Spots provides overviews of areas affected by problems or unrest.

The site even provides information on how to cite articles and information—look for the Citations tab.

Our subscription to Country Watch does not include all features, but the home page provides access to premium content on a rotating basis.

Expressway to Knowledge: Using Learning Express Library

Learning Express Library learning_express_library  isn’t just for traditional students. With guidance in math, reading, and writing skills (among others), Learning Express Library offers several “centers” geared toward specific milestones, from your school years to your late-in-life challenges.

Managed by the State Library of Iowa, Learning Express Library is an EBSCO company. EBSCO is the granddaddy of all databases. Before Google or Yahoo! or even Ask Jeeves, EBSCO was how students conducted research using digital files. The bottom line is that the people who developed this site know what they’re doing.

To access Learning Express Library – as well as our other online resources – first log in to EICConnect, then go to the Electronic Resources under Library found under Menu.

The College Center

Learning Express Library College Center

This will probably be your first stop. There are several review sections, the highlights of which are accessible under the Guidance and Resources dropdown menus at the top of the screen. For full review sections, see the scrolling menu at the center of the screen, which lists the Math Skills Review, Reading Skills Review, Grammar and Writing Skills Review, Science Skills Review, Prepare for Graduate School Admissions Exams, Prepare for College Placement Exams, and Prepare for the CLEP® Exam. Click the arrows to scroll left or right.


Each of these sections offers multiple review resources, including eBooks, practice tests, and tutorials. Most of them also contain their own subsections. The Math Skills Review, for example, offers practice sets in the following mathematic disciplines: algebra, basic math, calculus, geometry and measurement, trigonometry, statistics, logic and reasoning, and – everyone’s favorite – quantitative comparison and word problems!


You may have noticed the links next to each practice test that prompt you to login or register to use these services. Worry not – registration takes less than 30 seconds. Simply fill out this form:


Not literally this one – this is just a screenshot.

…and that prompt will turn into a Launch button.


Be sure to read directions carefully. Some features have multiple options. It’s best to make sure you’re using these features correctly and with the settings that will be most helpful to you.



In addition to the college center, Learning Express Library also offers:

The Adult Learning Center

In addition to basic math and reading skills necessary for everyday life, the adult learning center also offers “Public Speaking Success in 20 Minutes Per Day” and guidance becoming a United States citizen.

Career Center

Whether starting your career, switching to a new one, or seeking to advance your current career, this center has everything you need to get you on the right path with confidence.

Learn More About a Career, Prepare for an Entrance Exam, Prepare for an Occupation Exam (i.e., certifications in various fields, from health to air traffic control, and cosmetology to law enforcement), Join the Military of Become an Officer, Job Search and Workplace Skills, and Prepare for the WorkKeys® Assessments and the TOEIC®.

Computer Skills Center

Technology advances every day whether we’re paying attention or not. Whether you’re familiarizing yourself with computers or trying to keep up with the latest software, this center is the perfect starting point.

Getting to Know Your Computer (including safety and maintenance), Get Started with the Internet (including social media tools), Popular Software Tools (including all of Microsoft Office), Learn Computer Graphics and Illustration, and Understanding Your Operating System.

Recursos Para Hispanohablantes

Para nuestros estudiantes que hablan Español, Learning Express Library tiene recursos como Mejore sus hablandides escritas, orales y gramaticales, Sea major lector, Desarrolle sus habilidades matemáticas, Prepáparese para el examen de GED®, y Sea ciudadano estadounidense.

All of these centers, and more, are available at Learning Express Library. Explore the possibilities!

Opposing Viewpoints in Context and The Art of the Argument

There will never be a time in your life when you won’t have to argue, and presenting a persuasive argument often means the difference between success and struggle (ex., “I need this loan because…” or “My company is the best in the region because…”). At Scott Community College, part of our mission is to develop students’ abilities to understand and make use of the elements of argument. In fact, that we devote entire classes to advancing this skill.


Some of you may find this image disturbing. Courtesy of Book Depository

Sometimes the toughest part of developing an argument is picking a side and sticking with it. Social issues, for example, tend to be complex and controversial, leaving us not only with conflicting viewpoints but with data that can be interpreted to support multiple sides, with breaking news that may sway public opinion, and policy changes that can render an issue irrelevant.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context opposingviewpointscontext is a database that specializes in gathering information from academic journals as well as popular media sources with the purpose of supplying users with a snapshot of the most recent controversies while providing context – that is, the circumstances surrounding these controversies or arguments.

For example, if we select “Browse Issues” right below the banner search bar…


…and choose to focus on the category of “Energy and Environment”…


We see that “Water Pollution” (lower right column) is one of the most recently updated topics. Recent updates mean new information, which in turn means that people are definitely talking about this issue. Let’s see what they have to say:


First, we notice a paragraph defining “Water Pollution.” Using clearly-defined terms is a cornerstone of argument. In this case, Opposing Viewpoints in Context defines water pollution to mean “…contamination of water by chemicals, pathogens, and other elements, often tot he point that water becomes undrinkable and unusable” and recognizes that when people use the term, they are most often referring to “…any human-caused change to waterways…”

Now take a look at the first headlines under “Featured Viewpoints”:



Both from 2014, these viewpoints couldn’t be more opposed, yet each makes a strong argument with cited sources. One way we can decide between the two of them is to look at each author’s qualifications.

Hydrologist (that is, a scientist who studies water) and environmental engineer Jay Famiglietti wrote the article titled, “The Earth’s Water Supply Is In Grave Danger.” We learn this upon clicking on the headline, which takes us to an abstract that looks like this:


In addition to telling us what Famiglietti’s background is, the abstract also gives us a brief summary of his opinion. We even get some sample reading questions to help us stay on task and use our critical reading skills.

The abstract also gives us a brief summary of his opinion. We even get some sample reading questions to help us stay on task and use our critical reading skills.

The second article, titled “The Earth’s Water Supply Is Not In Danger,” comes with the following abstract:


While Lyons is clearly an experienced writer with Spiked (a Internet magazine whose predecessor, Living Marxism, often chastised popular media outlets for perpetuating what LM referred to as “Fear Culture”), he does not appear to have any special knowledge of environmental science or hydrology.

Additionally, Lyons’ argument appears to be based on a logical fallacy known as False Analogy. Oil and water are two very different substances in terms of their origins and chemical compositions. In fact, they are so different that when two people dislike each other, a common remark is, “Those two get along like oil and water.”

Though we’ve only spent about five minutes researching potential topics, we already have the beginnings of a persuasive essay, including one potential academic resource (Famiglietti) and one resource we can use to predict and refute opposing arguments within the body of our essay (that is, we can reference and dismiss Lyon’s idea that Earth’s water supply is analogous to Earth’s oil supply). Should we choose to cite either of these articles, we can scroll all the way to the bottom for correct source citation:


Our next step is to mine our article for terms we can looks up for the purposes of additional research and topic narrowing. One item Famiglietti returns to is how changes in environment require changes in policies and attitudes regarding that environment.

We can learn more about these changes from academic articles and raw data available on Opposing Viewpoints. See this side bar?


See it?

There are 80 articles from Academic Journals related to this topic, as well as 25 statistical reports. If we don’t care for Famiglietti or Lyons, we can even search for more Viewpoints (99) or Related Topics (bottom). News stories and magazine articles round out our search by giving us further details of the newest happenings and eye-witness accounts.

Use Opposing Viewpoints to learn the elements of argument, discover how to present a valid argument, and write the best persuasive essay your English instructor has ever seen. Then, take your new ability to influence others into your boss’ office and get that raise you deserve.

Get to Know AcademicOneFile

If EBSCO is a bear, then AcademicOneFile academiconefile is a friendly otter. Did you know otters hold hands while they sleep so they don’t drift away from each other?


…Or that a group of otters is called a romp?

That’s the type of need-to-know information you can find on AcademicOneFile. With nearly 80 million articles from peer-reviewed as well as popular publications, you can learn just about anything you need to know – even if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.

To get to the AcademicOneFile database, log in to EICConnect and click on Library under the Menu icon in the upper left of the page.  Click on Electronic Resources to see all of the databases available to you from your computer or mobile device.  If you’re using one of the computers on campus, you can access these from the Library home page (click on “A list of electronic resources can be found here”).

Once you click on the academiconefile icon, you should access a home screen that looks a little like this:


You may use the search bar above to search for terms and then narrow your search afterward. We recommend, however, narrowing on the front end by first choosing a discipline under which to search. If we click on “Criminal Justice” under the “Browse by Discipline” section below the search bar, we get a screen of topics that fall under the umbrella of criminal justice:


Looking through these subjects in alphabetical order, we see that they cover a wide range of topics, from the court system to the prison system, from trafficking to white-collar crime. If we select “Gangs and organized crime” (top center), AcademicOneFile returns a collection of articles all related to this topic.


At first, it appears that our search has yielded 256 results. That number only accounts for academic articles, however. If you look at the right-hand sidebar under “Content Types,” you’ll see there over 5,000 other types of publications – from popular magazines to news stories – that fit our subject search. Either way, that’s more than we could go through in an entire academic year, let alone the time we have to research a paper.

Not only that, but the first three articles vary widely in subject matter: one is about Australian motorcycle gangs, one is about a racketeering statute in Iowa, and the third appears to tackle the increasingly complicated relationship between Mexico’s government and its organized crime. Aside from all falling under the umbrella term of “gangs and organized crime,” these articles have nothing to do with each other.

We need to narrow our search further. Still on the right side of the screen, now we’re going to choose methods to limit our search by selecting options under the heading, “Limit By.”


Expanding the list under “Subjects” shows us dozens of topics from hundreds of categories: from location (Chicago and Los Angeles are two examples) to crimes (such as theft, extortion, and murder) to demographics (youth, prisoners, law enforcement, etc.).

Topic Finder gives us a visualization of these subjects organized by frequency of term usage as well as how these terms appear to relate. Topics closer to the middle tend to be umbrella terms, which are used most often, while the topics on the outer part of the wheel appear frequently alongside the major term.


Perhaps none of these suggested subjects are quite what you’re looking for. Maybe you heard about a new trend in California where gangs of old ladies terrorize young men. In that case, you can use the search bar (also located on the right-hand side of the screen) to search within your results. That means that no matter what you type in, AcademicOneFile will only search for that term within the articles it’s already pulled.


So if we type “Iowa” into that search bar, we cut our results down to fewer than 100. If we go back to the search bar and enter the term “violence,” it now narrows are search using both of those terms and still under the umbrella of gangs and organized crime. This leaves us with just 15 articles to look through.


As we read through these articles, we first look at the abstract (that is, a summary of each article) to ensure we aren’t wasting our time reading about an unrelated topic. We also begin to take notes on terminology so we can reboot our search once we’ve found everything of relevance under our current terms (“Iowa” and “violence”).



If we find this article relevant – and its January 2017 publish date by the University of Iowa’s Iowa Law Review is definitely a plus – then based on the above abstract, it looks like some of the next terms we’ll search for might be “IOCCA,” “RICO,” and “Model Act.”

As you can see, AcademicOneFile requires some patience, but it has handy search tools in addition to user tools such as the Listen button (which reads the article to you), citation help, and easy share options. This database is a must for students of the sciences and social sciences.

Credo Reference: The Starting Line for Research


We recommend using Credo Reference as a starting place for a research project. Credo Reference is similar to a digital encyclopedia, providing topic overviews that are ideal for exploring a topic in order to decide on a research question to pursue. While the ebooks in Credo Reference are high quality academic texts suitable for many research papers, they are not considered peer reviewed.

To get to the Credo Reference, log in to EICConnect and click on Library under the Menu icon in the upper left of the page.  Click on Electronic Resources to see all of the databases available to you from your computer or mobile device. If you’re using one of the computers on campus, you can access these from the Library home page (click on “A list of electronic resources can be found here”).


Credo Reference can be used in several different ways.

Use Credo Reference as a Database

The simplest is to use it like a database. Type your topic into the single search box to get results from the nearly 700 ebooks. Many topics have a dedicated Topic Page, which will be the first entry on the list of results if there is one for your topic. After the link to the Topic Page, you’ll get a list of articles or entries from different ebooks. For my sample search on civil rights, there were over 13,000 results, with three related Topic Pages! The filters on the left-hand side of the page can be used to focus the search, or you can add an additional search term to help narrow down the topic and get more precise results.


Browse Books Using Credo Reference

Credo Reference can be used to browse for books on different subjects as well.  To do this, either click on Find a Book at the top of the page, or change the drop-down menu next to the search box from Basic search to Book search.  You can either go by the subject list on the left-hand side of the page or use the search box to find books.  There is even a list of the video series accessible from this page, under Collections.

Use Credo Reference’s Exclusive Mind Map Feature

Our third favorite way to use Credo Reference is to develop a research topic through the Mind Map.  For this feature, click on Mind Map at the top of the page to go to the search function or change the drop-down menu next to the search box to Mind Map as you do your search.  The Mind Map feature breaks down topics into its subtopics, making it easy to determine a focus.  Students can struggle with researching a topic when the topic is too broad or too narrow, and the Credo Reference Mind Map is an easy-to-use tool for finding the sweet spot of scope to help make research easier.

In this example, we used the Mind Map to look for topics related to philosophy, then ethics.  Each of the terms in the Mind Map can be clicked on to further narrow the topic, and the bar on the right-hand side of the change updates to provide entries in ebooks in Credo Reference.




Searching the EBSCO Databases


In the Scott Community College Library, the EBSCO databases are the workhorses.  For most research areas, EBSCO is a great place to start searching for journal articles—both for scholarly journals and popular magazines.

To get to the EBSCO databases, log in to EICConnect and click on Library under the Menu icon in the upper left of the page.  Click on Electronic Resources to see all of the databases available to you from your computer or mobile device.  If you’re using one of the computers on campus, you can access these from the Library home page (click on “A list of electronic resources can be found here”).


Click on EBSCO to see the different options.  If you’re on a mobile device, you might try the mobile profile or the ebook mobile app.  If you’re on a computer, you can get to articles through the first link, EBSCO (magazine and journal articles).

Entering the databases from here, you automatically search across all of the EBSCO databases at once, including Academic Search Elite, Business Source Elite, the EBSCO ebook collection, Health Source, and more.  If your assignment requires that you use scholarly articles, select Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals under Limit your results.

In the search boxes, enter keywords related to the topic you’re researching.  Databases work best when you separate search terms into separate search boxes, unlike search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

For example, if you’re searching for articles on nutrition in cancer, databases will give better search results if you put nutrition in one search box and cancer in another search box, rather than putting nutrition cancer together into one search box.  Take a look at the sample searches below—they are identical except for breaking the search terms into separate search boxes.  Breaking up search terms resulted in the database retrieving over 10 times as many articles!



One last tip: once you get your search results, look at the limiters on the left-hand side of the page.  You can use these to select article publication date, limit to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals if you missed checking that box on the search page, select the type of source such as newspaper or ebook, or search for articles that aren’t available in Full Text in our collection but can be requested through interlibrary loan.

Need help searching?  Ask a member of the library staff!