The databases recommended to use for the Sociology class assignment are: "Sociological Abstracts," "JSTOR," and "Academic Search Premier."
CONTENT--Sociological Abstracts covers sociology and related fields. JSTOR has subjects in the social sciences, humanities and sciences. Academic Search Premier is a general database that includes most topics.
FULL TEXT--JSTOR is completely full text. The Academic Search Premier is a partially full text database. Sociological Abstracts has few full text articles in it.
PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES--All of the databases have or cite peer-reviewed articles.
Topics can be selected from current events, historical events or someone's experiences, etc. Some examples are below.
To enhance your search results, remember to use synonyms. Some examples are below.
"Females" or "Women"
"Wife Abuse" or "Husband Abuse"
Boolean operators are used to connect words to broaden or narrow a search. They are: "and," "or," and "not." A search is narrowed when "and" connects words to each other, e.g. "children and adults." Both words must be in an article. The word, "not," narrows a search, also. "Children not adults" excludes adults from the search. However, when using "or," e.g. "children or adults," the search is broader because the computer is searching for both groups of people but, not necessarily, in the same article.
If time is a factor and articles cannot be obtained from other libraries, the search should be narrowed by selecting the database's full-text box.
If the article is not in the database, you should do a "Periodical Title" search in the IUCAT, the library's online catalog. The journal that has the desired article may be online or on a shelf on the second floor of the library. The journals and magazines are shelved, alphabetically, by title near the elevators.
When typing a search inquiry in the "Find" box, use parentheses ( ) to group words. Those words are searched as a group. It does not matter in which order they were typed. For example, (identity theft) can retrieve the term, identity theft and the words, theft of someone's identity.
To increase or decrease your results, use the "Publication Date" box or slider to tell the computer what publication dates the articles it retrieves should have.
If a search term is enclosed in quotation marks, "", the exact term will be searched in the database. The words, morbid and obesity, in quotation marks, e.g. "morbid obesity" tell the computer that it is an exact term which should be searched, accordingly.
SUBJECT TERMS OR THESAURUS FEATURES
To avoid getting some false hits, it is important to remember to use the subject terms and thesaurus features to find helpful/appropriate search terms for a search.
One way to broaden a search is to truncate a word. This means that the computer can search for words that have the same root, but have different endings. The asterisk, *, symbolizes truncation. It is used at the end of the root of a word. For example, the root, "comput" plus the asterisk, *, in the "Find" box may result in the following words, "computation," "compute," "computer," and "computing."