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STS 345: Physics in the Modern World: Searching Tips

Searching Strategies!

Use these tips and tricks to get the most focused yet comprehensive results on your topic:

Add concepts to your search to get more specific: use AND to narrow down your search (like Robert Hooke AND microscope)

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Remember to search multiple keywords (like Robert Hooke AND (microscope OR instrument OR microscopy) to get more results on your topic.

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Use subject headings to target your search and find articles that are most relevant to you. Make sure to harvest more search terms from the results that you find! 

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Use truncation symbols to search for multiple forms of a word. Just add an asterisk (*) where you want the truncation to start. For example, search for microsope, microscopic, microscopy, etc., by entering microscop*in the search box. 

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Keep track of your strategies, so you don't forget how to find great resources!

Finding Full Text of Articles

There are three methods for obtaining the actual articles you wish to read:

Method 1: In some databases, you will be able to link directly to the full-text article. Look around, as different databases have different interfaces. Look for a link or buttons that says "Check for Full Text" or Download PDF or similar. If given the choice between a PDF or HTML version of the article, always choose the PDF format. This will give you an exact image, including page numbers, of the article as it appears in the paper journal.

Method 2: If a direct link to full text is not available, then check Primo Search to see if the library subscribes to the journal. Search for the title of the journal that the article was published in.

You may find that there is online access available for this journal. Check the dates that are available...most of the time the link will say "Fulltext access available from 19xx." Check to see whether the article that you're looking for was published during the date range that is available. If so, then click the 'View fulltext' link and either browse through past issues, or look for a "search within this publication" link until you find the article that you need.  You may find that Primo says the journal is available at Collins Memorial Library Print Journals, which means we have the journal physically in the library.  If the article you are looking for is only available in print in the library rather than online, in which case you  you will need to check either the current periodicals area on the first floor, or go downstairs to the basement to find the bound volumes of periodicals.  If the periodical is available only in microform, you may submit a request for electronic delivery of the article via your ILLiad account.

Method 3: If your searching indicates that the article is not available in any format, then request the article through ILLiad, the interlibrary loan service. ( Most databases include links to ILLiad within each record.) It usually takes about a week or less to receive an electronic copy of the article.

And at any time if you have questions, send Eli an email! 

All about Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If your article is not available at Collins Library, you will need to use ILLiad, our interlibrary loan service. The first time you use Illiad, you will be prompted to set up your account. After that, you will log in with your Puget Sound ID and password. 

Once you have an account, either go directly to ILLiad and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link like this:

Click the shortcut link, and the database will fill out the submission form. Allow at least a week for the article to arrive. If your  article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to click and follow as soon as it's arrived. 

For more information about Interlibrary Loan and how it works, check out these two short videos: