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Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale Community College Library

EXS101: Getting started with Research

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Finding Articles

You can find different types of article in the library's databases. 

What is a library database?

A library database is a collection of different sources such as magazine articles, journal articles, newspapers, ebooks, streaming videos, images, book reviews, and more.  You can find all these sources by searching with keywords.  If you are off campus, you will be prompted to login to the databases with your MEID and password.

Search Tips

Type specific keywords or short phrases into the database search box rather than full sentences or questions.  Use AND to connect 2 or more different key concepts. Use quotations around exact phrases.

  • Search example: football AND "brain injury" 

  • Search example: muscle AND creatine

Brainstorm a few different keywords that relate to the topic you are researching.  Use OR to connect 2 or more synonyms or related terms.  Try a few searches with different keywords to get different results.

  • Brainstorm synonyms: concussion, brain injury, CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, risk 

  • Search example: (CTE OR "chronic traumatic encephalopathy") AND football

With so many databases to choose from it is hard to know where to start!  We have arranged the databases by topic, but if you're unsure of where to start here are some databases to help get you started with your quest for information. 

Anyone, anywhere can post anything on the Web and often very difficult to judge the accuracy and reliability of what you read.  The following are some suggested sites and search engines that will help you find high quality research articles on the web.

Google Scholar is a search engine for scholarly information published as articles, books, theses and court opinions. Whereas the standard Google search engine finds links to Web pages, Google Scholar results are citations for articles that are not necessarily available for free on the Web.

PubMed is a service of the US National Library of Medicine that includes over 16 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals.  Many of the articles are available in full text for no cost.

PLOS (Public Library of Science) "is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization founded to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication" (PLOS website)

Using Keywords