Searching databases for journal articles is a bit more
challenging than using tools such as Google or Bing. The good news is
that you have a lot more control over how you design the search. This
also means you should get better, more targeted results.
- Before you start your research, try focusing your topic by writing a one sentence research question.
For example: What roles do caucuses, primaries, and political
conventions play in the process of nominating a presidential candidate?
- Identify the main ideas in your research question.
- political conventions
- presidential elections
- Boil the statement down to keywords, or the most important elements of your issue.
EX: caucuses, primaries, conventions, president, elections, nominations
- Use an asterisk to find variations of a word.
EX: president* will find president, presidents, presidential
- Then, separate the keywords with the "and" and "or" connectors
EX: (caucus* or primar* or convention*) and (president* or election* or nominat*)
The above search strategy in the Worldwide Political Science database
will look like this. Note that I changed "Keywords" to "Descriptors" so
only the index terms for this article are searched.
This search retrieved 130 peer-reviewed citations.
Last Revised by Sophia Neuhaus on September 2, 2010