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Using Information Responsibly: Find Articles

A multimedia tutorial that defines academic integrity, citing sources, and plagiarism.

Hints for searching databases

Plan your search. For example, your research topic is how second hand smoking affects children. Great topic, but if you type this search - "How second hand smoking affects children" - into a database or library catalog search box, you will either get no results or you will get irrelevant results. Instead, you need to plan your key terms.
  • Use synonyms. For example:

second hand smoking / tobacco smoking / passive smoking
effects / health aspects / risk factors

  • Use Boolean operators (or Advanced Search feature): AND, OR, NOT
  • If you don't know author or title of the book, start with a Quick Search using words/phrase describing your topic.
  • Make sure you type and spell correctly: the library catalog is very unforgiving in spelling.
  • You can filter results by location and publication date.
Once you find a book you want, look at the Subject(s): pre-defined "controlled" terms that the Library of Congress uses. For example:
  • White Collar Crimes, Business Ethics, Corporate Culture OR Narrower Terms: Bribery, Embezzlement, Tax Evasion OR Related Term: Commercial Crimes
  • Transgender People
  • Ecosystem Services

Searching Databases

Below are the library databases, paid and licensed for ISU students, faculty and staff use only. Can be accessed on and off campus

  • Academic Search Complete (EBSCOhost) - Academic Search Complete, designed specifically for academic institutions, is the world's most valuable and comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database.
  • Britannica Academic - Encyclopaedia Britannica is one of the world's foremost reference works. The online version contains more than 73,000 articles on history, the sciences, mathematics, literature, art, philosophy, religion, health and medicine, languages, and more. In addition to articles, the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online includes audio and video clips, photographs and illustrations.
  • CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly) - A resource for understanding the most critical events and controversial subjects of the day. CQ Researcher covers a wide range of social, economic, political, environmental and health issues of the day and is an excellent resource for teaching information literacy. Files cover 1991 to present.
  • Roper Center Archives - iPOLL - The Center’s mission is to collect, preserve, and disseminate public opinion data; to serve as a resource to help improve the practice of survey research; and to broaden the understanding of public opinion through the use of survey data in the United States and abroad. Most of the surveys in the Roper Center were conducted on national samples, but there are also some state and local surveys, as well as a number of surveys of special populations of interest. Nearly all of the surveys are based on representative samples drawn according to the best practices of the time.
  • SocINDEX (EBSCOhost) - SocINDEX offers comprehensive coverage of sociology, encompassing all sub-disciplines and closely related areas of study.
  • Sociological Collection (EBSCOhost) - With hundreds of full-text scholarly journals and coverage spanning over a century, this collection provides an indispensable source of content pertaining to sociology and its related areas of study.
  • World Politics Review - Though strictly nonpartisan with regard to political party affiliation or allegiance, WPR can be broadly described as liberal internationalist, combining a reality-based approach that recognizes the need for all the tools and instruments of statecraft, with a preference for diplomacy and multilateralism in support of a rules- and norms-based global order. WPR provides uncompromising analysis of critical global trends to give policymakers, analysts, academics and readers with a deep interest in international affairs the context they need to have the confidence they want.


  • Use "Choose Databases" link to add more EBSCOhost Databases:  Business Search Complete, Communication and Mass Media Complete,  MasterFILE Premier, Newspaper Source Plus, PsycINFO etc.
  • Start your search by combining your two most important keywords or phrases.  Check your search results.  Then add secondary keywords or phrases to narrow down your search.
  • Once you found an article you like, look at the References list at the end to see if there is another article of interest. From the Library's homepage you can search the "Journal by Title" tab to discover if the library has access to the journal you need. If not, then you can request from ILL.


OneSearch is a search tool that allows you to search the Library Catalog along with millions of scholarly e-resources all at the same time. The results from a search are ranked, so even though your results are usually numbered in the hundreds of thousands, the best matches are found in the first few pages.


Search More Databases

Journals by Title

Did you find an article you'd like read, but don't know if the library owns the journal?  Enter the journal title below to find the full text.

Search for Online Journals




Interlibrary Loan

Can't find the full text?  Don't despair!  Learn how you can request the article from another library and how to use our ILLiad interlibrary loan system. 

Planning Your Keyword Search

Get Online Access Support
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