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Recommended Databases

Research Methodology Databases

Electronic Journals

    All journals listed are [UW restricted]

    Developing Keywords

    There are several different approaches to organizing your research topic prior to searching for a literature review, but the most popular by far is the development of a set of essential keywords.

    Keywords are short words and phrases that, when combined, describe more complex ideas and topics. For instance, the following keywords might be used to describe general research on the various effects of climate change of South American rainforests:

    • climate change
    • South America
    • rainforests
    • effects

    Begin by creating a list of 3-5 "core" keywords based on the major concepts behind your research topic. Once you have generated this initial list extend it by including: 

    • Broader or narrower terms
    • Synonyms for terms
    • Related terms

    Below is a textual map that will help to organize the keywords relative to your research topic.

    Advanced Searching

    What are Phrase, Boolean, and Wildcard Searches?

    Phrase, boolean, and wildcard searching is used in search engines, databases, and on the web to define relationships between words and groups of words.  They can help you refine your search to find the best possible results. 

    AND Use AND to retrieve both search terms
    OR Use OR to retrieve either search term(s)
    NOT Use NOT to exclude search term(s)
    " " Use " " to keep the order of words or phrases intact
    ( ) Use ( ) to organize the order of relationships in your search
    * Use * to the end of a term to search all ending of the root word, e.g. govern* retrieves government, government, govern, governs, governor 
    ? Use ? to find alternate spellings, e.g. wom?n retrieves woman or women 

    Tips for searching within search engines & databases:

    • Text is not case sensitive
    • Most search engines do not search punctuation or certain words, e.g. the, a, of, by
    Visit Phrase, Boolean, and Wildcard Searchingfor more information.

    Getting your Article

    In most databases, if the full text of the article is not readily available, you will see a Check for Full Text button. 

    Clicking on the button will do one of the following:

    a) take you to the article - look for PDF full text,
    b) take you to the catalog - click on the link next to Content Available
    c) link you to Interlibrary Loan so you can request a copy of the article.

    There are several ways go about finding an article via the UW Libraries website. However, the process is easiest when you have the article's citation handy -- which identifies the article's full title, journal, and author name. 

    Start by searching the article title in quotes in UW Libraries Search. 

     

    View the article by choosing “Access Options” and select one of the listed databases.

     

    Once in the database look for Adobe PDF icon OR UW Libraries Full Text icon to access the full text.

    • If searching with the full article title doesn't work, try searching with the journal title instead. 

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    What does "peer-review" mean?

    Peer-reviewed articles (also know as refereed) go through a process where they are analyzed by experts in a field before publication.

    • articles are examined to evaluate the quality of research
    • reviewers decide if the article adds to the content of the field

    Articles can be scholarly (written and published for an academic audience), yet not go through the peer-review process.

    Step 1:  Check the peer review status of the JOURNAL.

    Search for your title in Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.

    When you find your journal, look for a "referee shirt" symbol.  The symbol will appear next to any journal title that is peer reviewed and/or refereed (interchangeable terms).

    Step 2:  If the JOURNAL is peer reviewed, then assess the ARTICLE.

    Is it a full research article?  If your article is a short news brief, an editorial, a letter to the editor, or a re-print of a conference proceeding, it is not peer reviewed.

    Using Google Scholar

    Google Scholar

    Google Scholar searches across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. These resources can be very useful, but keep in mind not all of them are peer-reviewed.

    How to access UW Restricted materials in Google Scholar:

    1. From the Google Scholar homepage, open the menu in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
    2. Open the Settings menu and click the "Library links" option on the left side of the screen.
    3. Using the search box, search on "University of Washington" to reveal the access link labeled "University of Washington - Full Text @ UW." Check the box next to this option, then click "save."

    Tip: If you don't see the "University of Washington - Full Text @ UW" link on the first page of results, click the ">" icon to see more results. 

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