Double quotes

If you want to retrieve articles with a specific phrase (two words or more) use double quotes. For example…

“public policy”
“New Mexico” AND Medicaid

The double quotes inform the database that you want articles with that exact phrase.

Boolean - AND/OR/NOT

When you use AND, you are telling the database that you want articles that have BOTH terms somewhere in the article. Use AND to join separate concepts in your search:

college students AND resilience

Use OR to tell the database that you want articles that have EITHER term in the article. Use OR with parentheses and finds articles about related terms or synonyms.

(drug use OR substance abuse)
(children OR adolescents)

Construct a search
(teenagers OR adolescents) AND (alcohol OR binge drinking OR substance abuse)


You may want to repeat your search in many databases for more comprehensive results.

Citation chaining

Take advantage of others' bibliographies! Once you find one good article, scroll to the bottom and mine the reference list. It's a great place to find like-minded articles and scholars.

Find the full-text

From a library database, click on . A new window will open, there are two broad possibilities:

View Full Text  -- takes you straight to the full-text of the article - yay!

We were unable to find any links to this item --the screen appears with this message  

  • Click on the "Request Item through Library Express" button to request the article 
  • Login and the form is already filled out for you to submit.  
  • This works for books and journal articles.