An asterisk ( * ) at the stem of a word will find all forms of the word:
Example: educat*= education, educable, educate.
Quotes around phrases (“xx yy”) will insure that your keywords are searched as a phrase; rather than individual words.
Example: "Social work," not social AND work
Question marks (?) can be used as wild cards to replace an unknown letter or letters in a keyword. This is helpful with spelling issues.
Example: Einst??n = Einstien or Einstein
Tips for finding peer-reviewed articles:
1. Most databases will provide an option for limiting your search to peer reviewed articles; if you can't find the limiter, look in the Help section under "limiters" or "peer reviewed."
2. Use a specialized database that contains only peer-reviewed articles, such as Biological Abstracts (ISI) or BioOne.
3. Search for articles using the criteria for research articles on the "Finding articles and databases" page. You can find journals regarding your subject using the Electronic Journals, A to Z link; and searching categories like "Life Sciences" or "Environmental Sciences." Then select a subcategory of interest and select the red Go button. You will be presented with a list of journal titles.
*Note: Tip # 3 isn't the most efficient way to find peer-reviewed articles, but it is a great way to identify some of the titles in the field for browsing.
Database searching in 3 steps:
Step 1: Brainstorm keywords (words you use to describe your topic).
Step 2: Construct your search:
Step 3: Examine results: