Skip to Main Content

Math 145 (for humanities): How to use CSM Library databases

Advantages of Article Databases

Why not just use Google????

  • library databases contain full text of articles ↓
    • you must make sure you selected "full text" on the search interface
  • you can narrow your search to particular dates, to scholarly (or peer-review) articles, to articles on particular subject, etc. ↓
    • select the limits on the "Advanced Search" page or in the search results page - it only takes a couple of minutes to look through the interface
  • articles come with ready citations..though it is up to you to make sure the citations are correct ↓
    • look for the "cite" or "email" links or icons on the page.

What is a "scholarly article" ? A "scholarly journal"?

Short, illustrative and interactive guide to recognizing a scholarly article (from NCSU).

anatomy of a scholarly article

When searching an article database..

  • use "advanced search" - and the tools (menus) it provides to limit the search to
    • full text
    • scholarly or peer-reviewed articles
    • certain dates or time
  • check the references - and consider following them (i.e. searching..)
  • check the journal title - and consider serching/browsing this particular journal
  • read the summaries, abstracts and subjects to expand vocabulary
  • if the terms you thought of do not bring any results , check Thesaurus or Subject Terms or "Look up subjects"
  • try different databases on the same subject - and the "multi-disciplinary" ones as well
  • quickly scan the article you see for the terms you used to search. The terms might be highlighted; if not, use CTRL+F (Command+F on Mac)
  • cite the article: look for the word "cite" or "citation tools" etc on the interface, check all the visible icons
  • email the article to yourself (can you include the citation in the email?)

Advanced search interface example

This is an example of interface you will see after you run an advanced search. Take a moment to look through the menus and check the drop-down menus.