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Leslie J. Savage Library

COM 202 - Academic Writing and Inquiry: Databases

COM 202



Search for books, ebooks, media and more, available @ Your Savage Library!


Perspectives & Viewpoints

Find Laws & Court Cases

Policy Information

Finding an official website of an organization within your subject area is a great place to find policy information. Organizations will list policies, budgets, and much more on their websites.  Be sure to evaluate if a website is legitimate and useful by using the SAVAGE evaluation method (located on the Evaluating Sources page).

If you are looking for the impact a policy has on an issue or a discussion about policy, a great place to go is our research databases. Use keywords such as policylawlegislationprocedurerules, and regulation. Be sure to note if you find some good keywords or subjects that are supplied by the database. These will focus your search.

Finding Research Mentioned in a News Article

Often, you'll find mention of research through a news report or magazine interview with the researchers. These can be nice articles to read, to help you better understand the purpose and findings of the research.

If you want to use the research findings in your papers, you'll need to find the original research article. There are several situations you may encounter. See below.

Example 1:

In this article, the author links to the original research article, but it requires a login or payment to get the full-text. You never need to purchase an article.

  1. First check Western OneSearch for the research article. We may have access through our subscriptions.
    • Search for the first 4 or 5 words of the article title, the first author's last name, and the title of the publication. You'll find all this information on the webpage you were led to from the news article.
      • In our example, the Academy of Management Journal link in the first paragraph takes us to this website: If you click on the Full Text link, you'll be asked to sign in.
      • Above the sign in information, you'll see a citation for the article. You can pull important information from this citation and search in OneSearch.
      • Article Title: Why is Underemployment Related to Creativity and OCB
      • Author Last Name: Lin
      • Journal Name: Academy of Management Journal
  2. If you do not find your article in OneSearch, check Google Scholar next. Follow the same method.
  3. If you still cannot find the full-text, just reach out to a librarian and we will check our sources too! :)
Example 2:
  1. First check Western OneSearch for the research article. We may have access through our subscriptions.
    • Search for the clues given in the news article.
      • In our example, the author mentions the researchers name, the journal, and the subject of the research, among other things.
      • Author Last Name: Lindqvist
      • Journal Name: Journal of Internal Medicine
      • Topic: sun
  2. If you do not find your article in OneSearch, check Google Scholar next. Follow the same method.
  3. If you still cannot find the full-text, just reach out to a librarian and we will check our sources too! :)

Finding Sources Listed in a Bibliography

When you have the information about a specific article (usually from a reference list at the bottom of an article), you can try to find the full text of that article by following the steps below:

  1. Extract the pertinent information about the article you wish to find: author name(s), title of the article, title of the journal, etc.
  2. Search in our Western OneSearch tool for at least two of the pieces of information (I usually search for one author last name and the first 4 or 5 words of the title of the article.)
    • Omit punctuation from the title. Western OneSearch tends to get confused with punctuation.
  3. If you do not find it in the Western OneSearch tool, try Google Scholar.
  4. If you have not found your article electronically, check our Catalog. We may have a print copy of the journal.
  5. If you do not find your article by any of these means, you may request it through Interlibrary Loan. Items are usually delivered within two weeks.
  6. If you discover that your item is actually a book or report of some kind (not an article), you can search in our Catalog to see if we have it on our shelves.
  7. If we do not have the book/report, you can try the Prospector Catalog. If you find the book/report in Prospector, you'll need to click the "Request" button and fill out the fields. Items usually arrive within a week.


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Emma Schmidtke
she / her / hers
Room 210, Savage Library

Searching Tips

  • Utilize the limiters, operators, & truncation options in the database. They will greatly improve your search. See the box below for more information about limiters, operators, and truncation.
  • First search using keywords or short phrases. Do not search long sentences. Once you get a result list for your keyword(s), take a look at the results and see if you can find some "SUBJECTS" that refer to your topic.
  • Primary research is research that was conducted by the author(s) of the paper/article you are reading. They are presenting their findings.
  • Primary resources are resources that come directly from the person or persons involved in the event. Example: A memoir from a Holocaust survivor.
  • Do not rely on your own opinion or experience. Always use expert evidence to prove your point of view.
  • Think outside the box. Example, if you have the topic of Alzheimer's, then remember to also search in areas of Aging and Dementia for more resources that relate to your topic. 
  • Use the bibliography at the end of an article to find more resources. If an author references research done by someone else, go to the bibliography and find the citation for the original research article. Then, you can hunt for the new article in the database. See: Finding Articles from a Bibliography.
  • Research on a step-by-step basis. Start with one or two keywords and then build on the search little by little. This way you will know where a problem in the search occurs.
  • Be aware that if you limit your searches to "full-text", you might miss out on a wealth of current information that isn't full-text yet, due to copyright limitations. If an article is not in the database you are searching, you can usually get your hands on an article by other means. Just ask a librarian for help.

Avoiding Book Reviews

Book Reviews are included in peer-reviewed journals, so they often show up in a result list that is limited to "peer reviewed". These are not peer reviewed articles. though they often look very similar to peer reviewed articles.

To recognize book reviews, look for one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The words "book review" in the title.
  • A subject term that includes (book) in parentheses.
  • In the text of the article, it will usually give the book information and mention it is a review in the abstract, beginning paragraph, or header.

Still unsure? Just ask your friendly librarian!

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