Journal articles can have any one of several characteristics including: report the results of an experiment or study, lay out a new theory, or provide an indepth examination of event or phenomenon to name but a few purposes. Articles are generally short and highly focused on one topic. Scholarly journals are where new conversation in a discipline first appears. Many scholars keep up on what's happening in their discipline by reading a handful of disciplinary journals.
Databases are subject specific collections of information about individual journal articles. The disciplinary databases collect the information about articles that have been published in the wide array of the discipline's journals. You use keyword and subject heading searching in a database to find articles on your topic of interest.
If the article citation does not include links to the full text, click on the Find it @ PSU button to check availability. Find it @ PSU is the link to the full text (online or print), that leads to the full text will appear under View Online. If it is not available, there will be an option to request the article from Interlibrary Loan & Article Delivery.
Moving from a research question to an effective search strategy involves breaking down the question into its Core Concepts, brainstorming Keywords, and then constructing an effective Search Strategy. You can do this in 4 steps.
1. Articulate your research question
Is union representation good for public employees in Oregon?
2. Break down your research question into its core concepts.
3. Now list alternative ways of describing these concepts.
Your list can include broader, narrower, and related concepts.
|Union Representation:||Collective Bargaining||labor union||labor dispute||SEIU|
|Public Employees:||workers||state worker||employee||staff|
|Oregon:||Pacific Northwest||Washington||United States||Portland|
4. Create multiple search strategies by combining words from your concept brainstorm list.
Acknowledgement: The content in this box was based off of Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh's work at Georgia State University Library.