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English Seminar: Quest Fictions: Getting Started with Your Research

English and Literature Databases

Getting Started

Searching for articles in databases

Each database uses a slightly different system of classifying articles. In some databases there is limited keyword searching, and you must therefore use the appropriate subject heading assigned to the article in order to find it. For example, if an article is called "A survey of dentures in the elderly" and you are searching for the term "false teeth," you will not find the article.

Tip #1: Start with keyword searching, but take note of the official subject headings assigned to the articles that are most relevant to your topic. Then repeat the search using those terms instead. Note that not every database uses the same exact subject headings. You may need to check the thesaurus of each database you use in your research.

If your beginning keyword searches do not bring up enough relevant results, you will have to find the appropriate subject heading in the database's thesaurus. This is usually an option at the top of the screen, or it may be buried in the advanced search options.

Finding the full text

Sometimes there is a fairly obvious link to the full text of the article in the citation you've found. When you don't see a link to the article, don't give up just yet! The library subscribes to dozens of databases, and the full text might be available elsewhere.

Tip #2: Try Article Linker. There will often be a link inside a citation that says: "Check Article Linker for more information." When you click this link, you will be checking to see if any of our other databases have the full text of the article.

If Article Linker does not point you to the full text, you may still have a chance at getting the full text electronically (declining in probability at this point, but worth a brief gander. You're seniors and it's about time that you learn the hard truth about real research: it takes a long time and is full of many dead-ends.) by searching Molloy College Journal Holdings for the title of the journal. It will list the databases that have the journal electronically as well as the print version.

When all else fails: InterLibrary Loan

If you are certain the article you'd like will be useful to you, use our interlibrary loan system ILLiad. Expect to wait approximately 2 weeks for the article to arrive.

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