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CPTC Library: Database Guide

Welcome to the CPTC Library homepage! We are located in building 15.


What kind of information is in the databases?

EBSCO and ProQuest have articles from newspapers, magazines, trade publications and scholarly, peer reviewed journals.

Ebook Central offers access to ebooks in different subject areas. The R2 Digital Library contains ebooks in the health sciences.

My instructor says I need articles from scholarly journals. What are those?

Both EBSCO and ProQuest contain articles from scholarly journals. These journals typically contain articles that include original research and are written by subject experts like doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers or other professionals. These articles are very detailed, lengthy, often written by multiple authors and have a bibliography of cited sources. These journals are also referred to as Peer reviewed or Scientific.

Other publications like magazines or newspapers are considered mass media. The writers of mass media articles are typically not experts on the subject matter, the articles are short and can be read and understood by most readers. Trade publications have articles written by and for people in a specific occupation such as nurses or auto mechanics. These journals are not considered to be scholarly.

How do I find scholarly journal articles?

Both EBSCO and ProQuest will allow you to limit your searches to scholarly publications.  Prior to doing your search check off the box labeled Peer Reviewed.

You can also do this after your search by clicking a link to the side of your results that will remove any non-scholarly articles from your search.

Some tips for better searching

Use keywords

Search using just the key words that describe your topic.  For example instead of: how does violent video games lead to violence in children just search on the words: violence video games children.

Truncate words to get more citations

In most databases you can search on variations of a word by using an asterisk * at the end of a word. For example child* would search for child, children, children’s, childhood, etc. Teen* would search for teen, teens, teenage, teenager, etc. By using truncation you can search for many words in just once search rather than doing multiple searches.

Use alternate words

Think of words or phrases that have similar meaning. For example in addition to video games you might try computer games or online games or gaming.

Use quotation marks to get fewer articles

If you want to search on a specific phrase or set of words put quotation marks around them for example “violent video games” will only return articles with these three words in this exact order.

Limit your search to full text

Most of the citations in the databases include a link to the complete article but not always.  If you only want to see results that include the full article, check the box labeled ‘Full Text’ before you do your search.

Use advanced search features

Using the advanced search feature in a database will allow you to limit your searches to words appearing in the article title or subject field, this will reduce the number of articles you find and the articles should be more relevant to your research.  You can also limit by publication date or by specific titles such as New York Times or New England Journal of Medicine.