Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

AGEN 170: Basic Hydraulics: Finding Sources

Finding Articles

If you're looking only for articles--including scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles--use the dropdown menu beside the main search box to select "Articles."

choose articles in dropdown menu

Enter a few important subject-related keywords in the search box and hit the "Search" button.

You can narrow your results even further on your search results screen. If you're only interested in articles from Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed journals, look for the "Limit To" panel and click the box that says "Scholarly Sources." Your results list will be updated to weed out non-scholarly sources.

check the Scholarly Sources icon in the Limit To panel

 

Trade Publications

"Trade publications" are specialized magazines intended for people working in a specific industry. The articles and ads in these publications are intended for people familiar with the industry and are often more detailed and technical than content you might find in a general newspaper or magazine. They're not scholarly journals, but the authors typically have a higher level of professional expertise and subject knowledge than journalists writing for popular magazines might have. Browsing through trade publications in your field can give you an idea of topics and new products that are currently being discussed. Van Wagenen Library provides online access to thousands of trade publications, including the following:

Selecting Keywords

The search terms or keywords you use to search are what determine the results you get.  Here's a good exercise to help you generate keywords:

1.  Express your topic in a topic sentence or research question: “What is the effect of television violence on children?”

2.  Generate keyword search terms by identifying the main ideas or concepts within that topic sentence:  “What is the effect of television violence on children?” = Television, Violence, Children. Leave out the small, common words that would be found in hundreds of irrelevant articles, e.g. What, Is, The, Effect, Of, On. Choose keywords that represent the main ideas of your topic.

3.  Expand your search terms by brainstorming related terms or synonyms that describe your main ideas:

  • Television – media, TV
  • Violence – aggression, hostility
  • Children – toddlers, youngsters, boys, girls

Combining Search Terms

You can create complex search strategies by combining keywords using the linking words AND, OR and NOT. For example, if your search terms are mathematics AND curriculum:

  • AND – Narrows and focuses the search results. The search mathematics AND curriculum will bring only results where both the terms mathematics and curriculum are present.  
  • OR – Broadens the search results. Using OR will bring results where the term mathematics is present, or results where curriculum is present, or results where both terms are present.  OR is useful if you have more than one way to refer to a concept -- Example: elementary OR primary.
  • NOT – Excludes anything where the term after the NOT is present -- Example: school NOT college