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Advanced Search Strategies: Beyond the Search

Reviewing Search Results

Effective searching is usually an iterative process. One approach is to try a fairly simple search, quickly identify the best sources in your results based on those records and then adjust your search to identify similar results.  Things to look for are wording, source type, subject headings, database, etc. 

In addition to looking for useful things in your search results, identify the things that are decreasing the relevance of your results. Look for an option in the filters to just search the disciplines or subject databases relevant for your topic, use the boolean operator NOT to exclude words that you do not want  in your results. 

Quickly scanning your search results is an important skill that you can develop and grow. It's also useful in all information research, not just when you're searching library resources. Practice by scrolling through the first page of your search results before you click on any of your results. Look for the best results, identify alternate search terms and look for problems in your search. Think about how you may want to adjust your search to improve your results.

Citation Tracing

Finding Known Items

Thoughout your search process you are likely to want to track down the full text of articles that you saw cited in other sources. Here is my recomendation for locating the full text:

  1. Start by searching the article title in Summon. If we have the full text it should be one of your top results. Access the PDF and you're done! No luck? Move on to step 2.
  2. Search Google Scholar for the full text. If you are off campus make sure you are connected to BGSU in the 'library links" settings in Google Scholar. If full text is available through Google Scholar it will be located in a link to the right of the citation. If not, move on to the next step.
  3. Double check library access by using the Journals by Title search. Process is detailed on this guide in the "Using Journals by Title" box. If we have a subscription to the journal that covers the volume and issue needed you should be able to browse to the PDF. If not, proceed to the next and final step!
  4. Prompt an Interlibary Loan request. In Google Scholar you can use the >> icon under the citation to locate the "Library Search" function. That should take you to a screen where you could submit an InterLibrary Loan request. You can also get to this screen through Summon (try adding the "results beyond your collection" filter to locate the citation) or by searching EBSCO. If need be you can also start an ILL request by scratch at

Reviewing an EBSCO citation

Screenshot of EBSCO search result

Finding a specific article by a citation

Screenshot of Journals by Title Link

From the Library home page

  • Use the Journals by Title link below the Summon search box 
  • Enter the title of the journal you are searching for in the search box. Do NOT use the autocomplete feature for the title of your journal. Click Search.
  • If no results appear, we do not subscribe to the journal. If we have multiple access points to the journal, carefully review the dates of coverage to choose the most appropriate option for your needs. 
  • For example, if I was looking for the following citation, our only access to the full text would be through Business Source Complete. Once in Business Source Complete I can navigate by volume, issue, and page number to find the article. 
    • McDuff, D., & Berger, J. (2020). Why Do Some Advertisements Get Shared More than Others? Quantifying Facial Expressions To Gain New Insights. Journal of Advertising Research60(4), 370–380. 

Screenshot of links to the Journal of Advertising Research