There is no one right way to search for articles. Want to save time and improve your search results? Consider learning and routinely using advanced search methods.
1. Use of Boolean logic: AND/OR
AND narrows your search:
exercise AND “immune system” (This combines two ideas and gets more specific results.
OR broadens your search:
herbal OR botanical (This will get results for either word.)
2. Use quotation marks around phrases
“dietary supplement” (This will find results with only that exact phrase.)
3. Use of parentheses to combine search techniques
(exercise OR diet) AND “weight loss” (This combines OR, AND, and phrase searching.)
4. Know the difference between keyword searching and subject searching
Most databases have standardized alphabetically listed subject terms that can reduce problems with keywords. For example all the articles on climate change, greenhouse effect, global warming will be listed under one of those terms.
5. Learn how to glean subject terms and keywords from articles that meet your needs
Beware: when using advanced search options in some databases you will need to change the search option to "Boolean/Phrase".
Confused at any point? Contact an ACC librarian. See HELP tab above.
The first list below has databases the ACC library subscribes to that have the full text of articles from magazines and scholarly journals. You must be a student or on the staff of the college to access these. If you're off-campus, your ACC eID will get you access. These will generally have "better" articles from reliable publications. The web periodicals listed in the box below are sometimes from less reliable sources.
The following sources of articles are free and open to anyone on the web (unlike the sources above). You will probably have more success using the library's databases. In particular, try JSTOR, Academic Search Complete, and Science & Technology Collection. Click on the letter in the alphabet that matches the database name.