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.
Most researchers confront an initial struggle to come up with a good set of terms that describe a particular topic. For example:
Teens / social media / depression / anxiety
You might wish to start a search with the most important terms. Let's try "social media" or you can try your own search terms in the box provided below.
This might be a good article, but even if it is not, note the subject terms associated with this topic:
And those are from just one of the hundreds of articles your initial searches might produce.
Using the most relevant of these and any others you discover, construct a new search! You can start with a 'broad' search and narrow as you go:
By searching with the terms that library databases prefer (subject terms), you should yield better, more relevant articles.
Your research or exploratory essay will be far better if you: [Update and customize.]
Find books, DVDs, streaming media, and ebooks in the Oboler Library catalog.
On the library home page, try the main search box to get a sense of what source types are available for your topic:
Consider narrowing your results by source type after running your first search.
Above you can see the types of sources that are most plentiful in a quick search for 'coral reefs', including 325k academic journal articles, 191k+ newspaper articles, and nearly 60k magazine articles and almost .
As an Idaho State University student, you have access to Interlibrary Loan (ILL); just use the ILL request form to let us know what you need. Provided you allow yourself some lead-time, there's no reason your search for sources needs to be limited to our materials and electronic sources.
See links below:
As you work to discover good source material, you will encounter specialized language that describes your topic:
"keywords" AND "subject terms"
keywords: When you search using keywords, you have brainstormed a term associated with your topic, and you are hoping that there is a book, video, or article that is related to your search term. In database terms, however, the search looks for your term anywhere in the item's record.
subject terms: When you use a subject term, your search will only produce records of those items (articles, videos, or books) that have been indexed with that specific term.
If you try a keyword search such as: va programs
You find a book's record that looks like this:
However, you also get these two books on finance. Why?
Because the two terms 'VA' and 'programs' were in each record, although the terms weren't even next to one another. So in our books and AV catalog, only 3 items were found using VA programs as our search terms. By searching, instead, with the subject term 'Veterans', however, you would find well over 90 books and videos, all of which are far more relevant and helpful for your topic.
It's important, of course, that you do some initial searching with keywords in order to discover the best subject terms for your topic.
[Embed videos in other box. OneSearch, Building a Keyword Search.]