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HLT 115: Personal and Community Health (Lamagna): Fine-tune Research with Articles from Databases

But There's Nothing Out There!

So what do you do if you feel like nothing is out there? Your searches are getting you 0 results!

This might be because the words you are using to search are too specific and narrow-- or that you are looking for one perfect source that might not exist. 

Remember, you are trying to find sources that help you to explain some aspect of your topic, not the one source that answers your question or proves your thesis. That's your job! You have a particular perspective, and your sources are there to provide support, not to steal the show!

Additional Guide on Opioids

Library Help Chat

If you need research help, using the chat box is a fast and easy way to reach out to us!

If chat is unavailable, please use our Ask-A-Librarian page to submit a question or make an appointment with Book-A-Librarian.

Using Periodicals for Research

Academic Search Premier

One of the largest academic multi-disciplinary databases, providing indexing and abstracting for over 8,000 periodicals. Full text is provided for more than 4,650 of these titles. Academic Search Premier also offers more than 3,590 peer-reviewed, scholarly journals. Article coverage spans   1975 – present.  

Newspaper Source

Provides full text coverage of the following national (U.S.) newspapers:
Christian Science Monitor, The (01/03/95 – Present)
USA Today (02/01/02 – Present)
Washington Post, The (01/01/03 – Present)
Wall Street Journal (01/03/95 to Present)
Newspaper Source also contains selected full text for 260 regional U.S. newspapers; 26 international newspapers; 19 newswires and newspaper columns; and 35 TV and radio news transcripts.

New York Times

Search the full text of The New York Times (starting in 1985).

Boston Globe

ProQuest Newspapers provides access to the Globe (starting in 1980). You can also use tis database to access articles from the New York Times prior to 2003.


Specialized Databases in Health, Healthcare, Psychology, and Social Sciences

Try Boolean Connectors to Target Search Results!

Keyword searching uses the words AND / OR as powerful connectors between keyword terms to tell a database or catalog how to search according to a system of Boolean logic.


1.     Turn your research question or statement into keywords:

                   Confirmation bias, promoted by regular use of social media, has a negative impact on students' critical thinking skills.

"confirmation bias"               "social media"            "critical thinking"*

*"Quotes" are used to indicate a phrase is being searched for.  Put quotes around two-or-more word combinations.

2.    Make a list of synonyms for each of the terms or concepts:

"confirmation bias"    "social media"   "critical thinking"
"echo chamber"      "social networking sites"  

 3.    Use Boolean logic to connect these keywords into a search statement.

 "social media" and "confirmation bias"

*Your results will show only articles that contain both terms, or phrases. This connector serves to narrow your results.

 "confirmation bias" or "echo chamber"

*Your results will show articles in which at least one of the terms, or phrases, appears. This connector serves to expand your potential results.