Choosing Relevant Search Results

In Library Search and many databases, you can look for clues to help you determine which sources are relevant for your research. Instead of reading articles or book chapters that will not help you answer your research question, scan results details to select useful sources. Helpful details include:

  • Title: Is it about your topic?
  • Date: How current does the information on your topic need to be? Does it need to be within the last 1-5 years?
  • Peer Reviewed: Do you need scholarly or peer-reviewed articles? More information can be found on the Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles Guide.
  • Abstract: Does the description or short summary sound interesting and relevant?
  • Subject: Do you see your topic or related terms in the identified subjects?

The title of the article, book, or book chapter is prominently displayed in the Library Search results list, along with publication date and peer-reviewed status. Additional details can be found by clicking on the Available Online or Available at link and viewing the source Details.