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Tarleton State University Libraries Unit 6
UNDERSTANDING THE SEARCH TOOLS
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image of books and computer   Much of your research will involve using articles (brief compositions) published in periodicals (journals, newspapers, magazines, etc.) because they provide more current information than books. Also, original research is most often published in periodicals, especially in scholarly journals.

Determining the most efficient ways to locate articles relevant to your topic is an important part of successful research.

The library offers periodicals in a variety of formats: print, electronic, and microform. However, browsing to find useful articles is time-consuming, even though it can sometimes be productive. Also, your research would be limited to locally available periodicals. Therefore, search tools have been created to help researchers locate articles for their research. These tools, listed below, enhance research efficiency and index a wide range of periodicals:

•  periodical indexes, which offer article citations
•  periodical abstracts, which offer citations and abstracts
•  subscription databases, which offer citations, abstracts, and/or full text articles
•  Internet search tools (e.g. search engines, research guides, and free searchable databases), which may offer citations, abstracts, and/or full text articles
 
The next segments of this unit provide more information about these search tools.


 left arrow  Comparing Types of Periodicals Periodical Indexes  right arrow 
Library Orientation Site Index
Updated 8/2004