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Econ259: International Political Economy 2020: Article Searching

Article Databases

Article Databases: General Interest

Searching Tips & Tricks

1. Use subject headings!

2. Take advantage of any “times cited” or “cited by” features (available most prominently in Google Scholar, EBSCO and JSTOR). 

3. If I search for DOCTORS PATIENTS COMMUNICATION, what does the database search for?

  • Most will search for both the plural and singular forms of the word.
  • Most will assume you meant to put an AND between the words, but some will assume this was a phrase search.

4. To search for a phrase, put quotation marks around the phrase: “doctor-patient communication.” (this applies in every database I’m aware of).

5. To search for synonyms, combine them with an OR.

  • (doctors or physicians) and patients and (communication or discussions)

6. To expand your search, use wildcards or truncation figures.

  • An asterisk frequently is used to represent multiple characters: comput* will retrieve computers, computing, etc.
  • A question mark is frequently used to represent a single character. Wom?n will retrieve women and  woman (though many databases will automatically search for both now). 

 7. When searching full text (in a database such as JSTOR or LexisNexis), use proximity search operators (sometimes called search connectors).

  •   JSTOR: "doctor patient"~10 : Requires that the words be within 10 words of each other)
  • Lexis-Nexis: doctor w/10 patient : Requires that the words be within 10 words of each other.
  •  Doctor w/s patient : Requires that the words be in the same sentence.
  •  Doctor w/p patient : Requires that the words be in the same paragraph.

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