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COMM 290: Communication Problems and Research

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Searching with keywords

  • A standard search will retrieve information containing all of the keywords.
    • Example: Peshtigo fire will retrieve materials that include both keywords.
  • Searching a person's name will retrieve information BY and ABOUT the person.
  • Use quotation marks to search exact phrases.
  • Use an asterisk(*) for truncation searching.
    • Example: organic farm* will retrieve: organic farm, organic farms, organic farmers, organic farming, etc.

Basic Searching

The default settings will search for all terms appearing anywhere in article records.

  1. Enter your keywords. You can also use “quotation marks” around your terms to search for an exact phrase.
  2. Use the drop-down menu to search in a specific field, such as author, article title, and journal title.
  3. Separating terms with AND will search for all terms; alternatively, separate terms with OR to find any of the terms.

screenshot of steps 1-3

Viewing Results

On the search results screen, click on the title of an article to view additional information and access or request the full text.

  1. The Title of the article appears along with its authors, journal, volume and issue (if applicable), year, and page numbers.
  2. The Abstract provides a brief summary of the article.
  3. Additional details can be found as you continue scrolling down the page. They include subject terms, additional author information, and the article's DOI, etc.
  4. A few important things about the Tools options:
    • If you intend to save a link to the article, always use the permalink tool option, rather than the URL at the top of the page.
    • The Email, Print, and Save buttons will only apply to the abstract unless the full text appears as a tab on this page.
    • The Cite button will give you an idea of how to cite the item, but it's not perfect. You should still review the citation before using it in an assignment.

Screenshot of PsycInfo refine results options

Get the Full Text

If you see a Find full text button Find full text for an article in a database, click on it to connect to the full text. If the article is not available, request it through interlibrary loan with the "Request a PDF (1-3 days)" link.