Bluefield State Library
To start with examine your research question, identify you subject area and decide on the information topic[s] you will be looking for. This will help you to pinpoint your search term/ keyword. Keywords are found in the title, abstract, and the body (text) of the article. Your keyword[s] needs to be a noun.
The library catalog (OPAC- online public access catalog) is a list (searchable index) of all the items in the library. It provides access to books, printed items and other materials available in the library. If your search does not locate an item you can also run a search with Mountain Library Network to see if other member libraries have the book/item, which the library can request as an InterLibrary Loan- ILL. We do not process course text book requests by interlibrary loan.
Next you need to consider what journal titles, subjects and forms of material are covered by the different databases to find one that best fits your search strategy.
AcademicOneFile has 2 subject area databases; such as general studies and literature
EBSCOhost research databases has 15 different subject area databases; such as an encyclopedia; national newspapers; library science & technology; arts & sciences and public opinion
Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe contains a variety of legal information
When you complete your search read ALL areas of the display screen, it will give you many clues about the type of content your search has retrieved. AcademicOnefile organizes its results with tabs to make it easier to go straight to academic journals. Some databases will have a section(module) on the results screen that displays other related subjects. You can narrow or redefine your search form the same set of results. It is a case of becoming familiar with the different databases and how they present their information. The library offers information literacy research classes and librarian are readily available to offer research demonstration and assistance.
Do use the databases advanced search module to combine concepts of more than one search term. Keyword versus subject searching; Abstracts, citations, and full-text; limiting by date or form of material. The advanced module has the Boolean connector operators: and, or, not preset set into choice fields. Subject headings are drawn from a browseable thesaurus, or list of words that control what terms are used. Subject headings lists use guides to help identify accurate headings: see, see also, broader term, narrower term, and related term. All records retrieved using subject headings will be relevant.
To Find the Right Articles; Be prepared to try different types of searches; Be prepared to narrow or broaden your search; Be prepared to switch between keyword and subject heading searches and try different databases.
When you reference your source check what "style" you will need to write and cite the information.
FOR EXAMPLE:- generally the format APA is used in Psychology and Social Sciences, MLA for Languages and Turabian for History. Some databases have a citation module that will print or email results in either APA or MLA citation style.