How to search for articles
Search for Articles
Choose keywords that represent the important ideas you want the articles to contain. Given the topic the effect of television violence on children, you might choose television, violence and children as your keywords.
For more information, see Developing a Search Strategy.
Combine Keywords Using AND and OR (Boolean Operators) to Refine Your Search
Tell the database how to combine your keywords using Boolean operators.
- If you want all of the keywords to appear in every article, put AND between them in the search box. Example: television AND violence AND children
- To have the database search for articles where either of two terms appears, put OR between the terms in the search box. Example: teenagers OR adolescents
For more information, see Boolean Searching and Truncation.
Refine Your Search Using Limits and Field-Specific Searches
There are two options for refining your search beyond specifying keywords.
- Field-specific searches: the database looks for a keyword in only a specific field, such as author, title, abstract, or publication title. Look for a field drop-down box next to the search box.
- Limiters: additional fields that appear on the search page such as scholarly (or peer-reviewed), date of publication, and article type. For example, you can select the scholarly limiter and the database returns only scholarly articles.
Printing and Saving Articles in PDF Format
If you are viewing an article in PDF format, use the print and save icons in the Adobe Reader frame. Do not use File > Print, File > Save, Ctrl+P, or Ctrl+S because these commands cause the file to print or save incorrectly.
Boolean operators are words (or, and, not) used to connect search terms to expand (or) or narrow (and, not) a search within a database to locate relevant information. Boolean operators are also called logical operators or connectors.
It is helpful to diagram the effects of these operators:
women or females
|Or retrieves records that contain any of the search terms. It expands the search. Therefore, use "or" in between terms that have the same meaning (synonyms) or equal value to the search.|
women and media
|And retrieves records that contain all of the search terms. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "and" in between terms that are required to make the search specific.|
image not weight
|Not eliminates records that contain a search term. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "not" in front of a term to ensure that the search will not include that term. Warning: Some databases use "and not" instead of "not." Check the database help screen.|
Check for Full Text Using Find Text
If the article isn't available full text in the database you are searching, click the button to see if we have access to the full text through another database or in print. A new page opens that will have one or more of the following links:
- Full text available via [database name]: Click to access the full-text online. If the link takes you to a publication-level page, you can navigate to the article by first choosing the correct year, then the correct month or volume number, then the issue, and then selecting the article from the displayed table of contents.
- We have this. Check availability in CSU Northridge Catalog: We have the article in print. Click to view the catalog record for the journal or magazine. You'll need to note the call number and then go to the fourth floor to get the article.
- Request document via Interlibrary Loan: We do not have the article online or in print. You can request the article via interlibrary loan (takes approximately ten working days).
For more information, see About Find Text.
- New topics may not yet be included in the database's controlled vocabulary.
- Using the appropriate subject heading for a topic will retrieve all items in the database indexed under that topic.
- If you do not know the appropriate subject heading for your topic, conduct a keyword search first and look at the subject heading(s) of a relevant item.
Access Databases from Off Campus
Only current CSUN students, faculty and staff can access our databases from off campus. To access the databases from off campus, click the name of the database. You will then see a screen asking you to log in, using your CSUN User ID and password (the same ID and password you use to log in to the portal).