What does the Full Text Filter do?
Selecting the Full Text filter ensures that all results have full text available to read immediately (this can be either HTML Full Text or a PDF).
What if you don't select "Full Text"?
If Full Text is not selected, there will be many more search results, but many of these will need to be Requested via Interlibrary Loan from other libraries.
What does it mean to Request an Article via Interlibrary Loan?
Requesting articles or e-books via Interlibrary Loan is a free service to all students, faculty and staff at HCC. These requests are sent to other Minnesota State College and University Libraries to be processed by their library staff. Once the articles are located, they are sent via email to the email address associated with the patron's email account (typically their HCC email). These requests can take a day or two to process, so while this is a useful function that can provide students with access to articles that best fit their research needs, it is an option that should only be used when students have time to wait for an article to be processed and emailed.
If time is of the essence, it is best to use the "Full Text" filter rather than wait for an Interlibrary Loan Request.
What does Peer Reviewed mean?
"Peer Reviewed" essentially means that an article was written by a subject expert and reviewed by other experts in the field to ensure accuracy.
Why select the Scholarly/Peer Reviewed Filter?
Instructors often require that students use Scholarly/Peer Reviewed journal articles as sources in their essays. They do this to impress upon students the importance of using reliable, authoritative sources in their research. This filter removes much of the need for source evaluation (at least as far as reliability, accuracy, and authority are concerned), which can still be required within databases that include results from popular magazines, blogs, and book reviews.
What is a Publication Date?
A Publication Date is the date that an article or other work is published. This is slightly different from an item's copyright date, which is the date that a work is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office or first manifests physically.
Why use the Publication Date Filter?
Using the Publication Date filter ensures that only information published within a specific date range will appear in your search results. This is especially useful when conducting research in the science and health-care fields, which often require that sources used be published within the last five years. To use this filter, select the "From" Month and Year and "To" Month and Year to establish the date range for your search results.
Why use Journal & Geographic Subsets?
Some programs at HCC (like the Nursing Program) require that students use resources published in the United States, about practices within the United States. The Journal Subset and Geographic Subset filters are options that are available when "Advanced Search" is selected. These two filters can be used to select "USA", which helps narrow search results to articles published in and about the United States.
*Please note that while these two filters are useful, they are not fool-proof. Some International, British, and Canadian Journals still slip through the cracks, meaning that students must check whether each of their search results is published in the U.S.*
How to check whether an Article was Published in a US Journal
Research Guidelines and Recommendations
With an infinite amount of information available at our fingertips, the sheer number of search results can make reliable sources difficult to find. When searching, students can apply the following guidelines to sift through search results for sources:
Use Quotations for Phrases
Quotation Marks (" ") should be used before and after a phrase, (two or more words) that must appear together in a specific order. This lets the database know that you want to search for this phrase, and not the individual words that make up the phrase.
In each of these examples using the quotation marks signals that the database should look for the phrase rather than each individual word in the phrase. This means that the database will look for the words "eating disorder" together in that order, rather than simply looking for the word "eating" and the word "disorder" separately.
Double-check your Spelling
Databases search exactly what you type. This means that if you misspell a word, your search will not yield any results. Always double-check that you have used proper spelling in your database searches.
Databases also provide search suggestions - using these may help avoid spelling errors.
What is a Wild Card Search?
The asterisk (*) is a "wild card" symbol, which indicates that the database should search all possible endings for a word starting with a series of letters. It is an effective research tool when there are a variety of endings a word could have, and all would be useful to your search.
Boolean searching is a symbolic logic system that creates relationships between concepts and words. Put simply, this means that Booleans tell the database how your search terms are related to each other, and this impacts the results of your search.
The standard Boolean Operators are as follows:
Students will recognize Booleans as the "AND", "OR", and "NOT" options that connect their Advanced database searches.
Use nesting to build a more complex search by putting keywords and/or phrases in parentheses to determine their relationship using more than one Boolean Operator.
Use Quotations for Phrases
Use Quotation Marks (" ") before and after a phrase, (two or more words that must be together in a defined order). This lets the database know that you want to search for this phrase, and not the individual words that make up the phrase.
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