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Microbes and Disease 20X20 Assignment: Find Articles

Links to reliable resources + search tips for Dr. Schrementi's class

2 ways to search

Try both types of searches:

Search Box on IRC homepage (multiple databases simultaneously)

  • Enter keywords
  • Capitalize Boolean operators: AND OR
  • Use double quotes for phrases: "whooping cough"
  • Use * for variant endings: vaccin*


  • On search results page refine your search using options on left side:
    • Limit to items with full text; exclude newspapers; include journal articles
    • Consider Subject Terms
    • Limit Publication Date
    • Specify Language

Power Search (by individual database)

  • Link to a specific database -- see lists on right
  • Use Expert Searcher Tips below

    Expert Searcher Tips

    • Use strong keywords: Think like a scientist and use professional language
    • Find synonyms: Use a medical or scientific dictionary to identify synonyms or narrower or broader search concepts
    • Try Advanced Search and group keywords by concept: Use OR between synonyms; use AND between major concepts
    • Note where keywords are searched: Narrow results by searching in Title of article; broaden by searching in Text or All Fields
    • Search multiple endings of a word: Use asterisk: vaccin* for vaccine or vaccines or vaccination
    • Search exact phrases: Use double quotes: "global warming"
    • Limit results: Choose publication years, scholarly or peer-reviewed, full text, etc.
    • Sort results: Choose most recent first or most relevant first

      Individual Databases

      Database Searching Tips

      • Choosing the right database for the information need is crucial
      • Databases with subject headings often use the same subjects as the catalog
      • Those words are always good search terms
      • Combine keywords and/or subject terms using Boolean logic for fewer, more relevant results
      • Databases may cover specific time periods--pay attention to dates
      • Use the Help screens to learn the characteristics of a specific database and improve your searching skills