Choosing Relevant Search Results

When searching, you will often end up with results that do not help answer your research question or provide evidence. Instead of reading articles or book chapters that will not be useful for your assignment, look for clues in the citation and abstract.

In many databases and OneSearch, you can read the abstract (a short summary), which gives you a clear idea of whether or not the work is relevant. You can also check for other details, including:

  • Title of article: Is it about your topic?
  • Date: Do you need current information on your topic (within the last 1-5 years)?
  • Subjects: Do you see your topic or related terms?
  • Scholarly: The journal indicates if the article is scholarly or peer-reviewed. More information can be found on the Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles Guide.

Citations and article details contain useful information such as the article title, journal or book title, date, subjects, and the abstract. In OneSearch select the Preview button to access additional details on a source.