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Physical Sciences: Articles

This guide is designed to help students succeed in their Physical Science classes.

Searching in Databases

Search by using keywords and NOT phrases or sentences.

  • Keyword(s) = a significant or descriptive word that relates to your topic
  • Example: 
    • Topic - Explore the innovations in particle accelerators.
    • Keywords: particle accelerators, charged particles, machine, electron beam, ion implanters, electric fields
  • Tips:
    • Keep your keywords broad.
    • If you want to combine multiple keywords, use the 'Advanced Search' feature. DO NOT combine multiple keywords in the default (simple) search.
    • Try multiple searches with different keywords. There will be different results with using different keywords.
    • Look at the subject headings and/or thesaurus terms on your results page to get ideas about other keywords you can use.

How to find peer reviewed articles

Conducting Academic Research

What does "peer reviewed" mean and how can I find a peer reviewed, scholarly article?

Infographic about peer review that is described in the video

Helpful Databases

Research Tips

Start Broad

When you start your researching journey, it is always a good idea to keep your searches broad and then begin to narrow it down. A broad search is going to leave you with lots of results that you can filter down by subject or maybe even a related field. When searching, look for other keywords that are being used in the sources that you find helpful. This will help you naturally begin to narrow your topic and research.

Try Different Keyword Searches

The databases and the library catalog search by keywords. Unlike Google or other search engines, you cannot type in a question or statement to find results. Keywords are one or two words that sum up your idea or topic. Finding good keywords can be the most challenging part to academic research. Do not be afraid to try different keywords in different ways. 

Analyze Your Sources

Once you find a source that you think will be helpful, you want to analyze it to determine the validity of the information. Some things you will want to be on the lookout for are: Where you found it? Who is writing it? Who published it? When it was written? Why was it written? What is the source's purpose?

Stay Organized and Save Your Sources

Like in all things, staying organized will help you through your research journey. Some ways you can stay organize include creating digital or physical folders that contain the sources that you found. Saving the information you found is extremely important. It is very hard to replicate a search within a database and sometime it can be very challenging to find sources again if you don't remember much information about the source. Simply saving your source or printing it out can help you stay organized and be able to quickly retrieve information when it is time to start writing.

Use Your Library Resources

The library has a plethora of resources that can help you through your research journey. The library not only has books and periodicals, but databases, catalogs, videos and the best resource of all; librarians! Librarians can help you navigate the databases and catalogs as well as offering advice on your keyword searches and ways to narrow down your information. If you ever feel stuck or unsure of your next step while researching, ask your librarian for help and guidance! 

How to find articles

How to Find Articles in the Databases

Helpful Video on Database Searching