Library:Library Research Skills For Biologists/Module 4/Page 03

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You may feel comfortable using Summon to look for scholarly information, but what if you need to make sure your search is more comprehensive? Where can you perform a more in depth search on your research topic? To improve the completeness of your search and find the best articles on your topic, you will need to use an additional tool: article indexes.

What is an article index?

An Article Index is a tool for searching thousands of journals in a specific subject area at once. Article Indexes make it easier to find the most relevant journal articles on your research topic using a number of tools. Many article indexes allow you to limit by date, subject heading (controlled vocabulary), and to do advanced keyword strategies such as proximity searching.

Generally, you would choose an article index based on the subject area, date coverage, publication type, etc. Keep in mind that the interfaces or search engines vary between indexes but the search techniques remain essentially the same. Eventually, you will become familiar with some of the indexes in your area of study. Until that time, if you are not sure which article index(es) to use, here are two ways to find out:

First: Use the Research Guides!

In another browser window, try the following...

  • Go to the Woodward Library page:
  • Under Subjects We Specialize In..., click on Land and Food Systems and select a research guide: e.g. Agriculture
  • In the guide, click on Articles tab. This tab lists the best article indexes for this subject.

Second: Ask a Librarian!
  • Chat online with a Librarian using AskAway.
  • Visit the Woodward Library to ask for help in selecting an index or indexes.
  • Phone the Information Desk at Woodward Library (604-822-4440)