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History: Journals

Database Search Tips

Use Boolean Logic (AND, OR, NOT) to combine search concepts.

  • TOO FEW hits: OR to add synonyms; individual key words, NOT whole phrases; drop concept(s) with AND; truncate; consider other databases.
  • TOO MANY hits:  AND another concept into search; use other available limiters in the database.
  • Truncation symbols (?, *, !, +) will provide variant spelling after the root word. 
  • A wildcard (?, *) is a character that may be used in a search term to represent one or more other characters.
  • Do an advanced search and take advantage of the fields provided.
  • Use the subject headings/descriptors to find additional citations on your topic.  If that does not work, use the keyword search.
  • You can also use limits (e.g., publication year, language, words in the title, etc.) to narrow your retrieval. 
  • Set up an auto alert/RSS feed to monitor the research.  


Use journal articleto find in-depth information on a specific topic.  They are usually more current than books.  Articles from academic journals are often peer reviewed.

Newspaper Articles generally:

  • Convey information about a current event, incident, people, places or issues of public interest.
  • Contain personal opinions on a topic.
  • However, newspapers can also contain at-the-time coverage of historical events.

Databases let you search for articles on your topic and will tell you in which volume of which journal it's published. Some articles may be available full text within a database. Other databases just tell you where to find the article, but don't have full text available.