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SSI2-190 A/B: Sources & Adaptations: Databases & Articles

Research Strategy: Mining Citations

Mining citations can be an effective research strategy for finding more sources relevant to a topic. Use this method when you've found a relevant article or book.

  • Use an author's name to find other publications on the same topic. 
  • Review citations of the author's bibliography to identify earlier related works.

Searching Primo for Articles & Books


  1. Type in the title of the article in the Primo advanced search box. Limit the "Material Type" to "Articles"
  2. Find the record in our library catalog and determine whether the article is available.
  3. If you don't find the article, try searching the journal title.


  1. Type the title of the book in Primo.Click on the record. If it is available in the library, note the call number. Click on the library map button to find it OR use the call number location chart.
  2. If it is available from another library, you can submit a request to borrow it through interlibrary loan. (see box below).


Find the full text. of the following article in Primo:

Roth, Lane. 1979. “Dracula Meets the Zeitgeist: Nosferatu (1922) as Film Adaptation.” Literature Film Quarterly 7 (4): 309.

Find the following book in Primo:

Monaghan, David, et al. The Cinematic Jane Austen : Essays on the Filmic Sensibility of the Novels. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2009.

How to Read a Call Number

If you've never had to find a specific book in a college library before, the task can seem rather daunting at first.  The University of Arkansas Libraries created a very helpful two-and-half minute video tutorial on how to read and interpret Library of Congress Call numbers.  If you have any questions about finding materials that you need, please do not hesitate to ask any Collins Library staff member--we're here to help!

Interlibrary Loan

If your article is not available at Collins Library, you've got another option to getting it. Use Tipasa, our interlibrary loan service.

Once you have an account, either go directly to Tipasa and manually enter the information, or, if you're using a database, look for a shortcut link to automatically fill out the form.

Allow at least a week for the article to come. If your article is delivered in electronic format, you'll receive an email with a link to follow as soon as it's arrived. If it's delivered in paper, you'll receive it right in your campus mailbox.

Research Strategy: Searching Databases

A good starting point for academic work is one or more of the many databases available through the library's website. Databases provide access and content to sources that are generally not available on the open web through a general search engine like Google.

Every database contains only certain types and amounts of information. Which one you choose depends almost entirely on the context of your research project. There is no single database or web search interface that will work for every research context; instead, you'll need to match your specific research needs to a variety of options.

Multidisciplinary databases cover a wide variety of subject areas and may include a mix of popular and scholarly sources. They are good resources when you begin your research.  Academic Search Premier is an example of a multidisciplinary database.

Subject databases cover a specific discipline and provide the widest range of access to scholarly sources. They are used for in-depth research. Communication & Mass Media Complete is an example of a subject database. Which subject databases you search will be determined by who may be writing about your topic. 

Journal Archival Collections provide  fulltext articles of core scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.  Each archival journal has a “moving wall,” defined as a time lag between the most current issue published and the content available. Moving walls typically range from three and five years, but publishers may elect walls anywhere from zero to 10 years.

Database Search Tips

Always use the advanced search interface and some combination of the following techniques to increase the effectiveness of your searches:

Quotation marks = Searches exact phrase, e.g., "Wizard of Oz"

Truncation (usually an asterisk*) = Searches for all forms of a word, e.g., theat* retrieves theatre, theater, theatrical, etc.

AND = searches all words, e.g., "Pride and Prejudice" AND adaptation

OR = searches for one of the words, e.g., film OR movie OR "motion picture"

Narrowing or Broadening a Search

Too MUCH Information?

  • Use more specific words.
  • Narrow your search by adding more words connecting them with AND.
  • Do a subject search or title search  instead of a keyword search.
  • Look at the subject terms used for a relevant article and use those.
  • Put phrases in quotation marks.

Too LITTLE Information?

  • Try different search words, including synonyms, broader terms, or related words.
  • Use the truncation symbol * to get all forms of a word.
  • Try unmarking one or more limiters, e.g., fulltext, publication type, etc.
  • Try a different database.

Multidisciplinary Databases

Subject Databases

Journal Archival Collections