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Graduate Students: Finding Resources

Searching in the Library Catalog

Simple Search

You can conduct a simple search through the library's homepage search box located just below the navigation tabs.  Once the search button is clicked, you will be redirected into the library's catalog where the search results will be shown. 

Advanced Search

An advanced search allows you to focus your search with additional search terms and limiters.  Go to the Advanced Search for the library catalog by clicking on 'Advanced Search' underneath the search box on the home page. 

Once at the Advanced Search page, type in your search terms and add any limiters. 

Searching and Using Filters

Conducting a Search

Performing a search for items in the catalog can be as simple as typing in keywords related to your search and hitting the search button.

You can also combine keywords in different ways:

  • Typing multiple keywords in a line (marijuana chronic pain) will search for results where all the keywords occur close together.
  • Putting words inside quotation marks (“students in higher education”) will search for results containing an exact phrase.
  • Putting AND between words or phrases (students AND anxiety) will search for results that have both words/phrases in them, no matter how far apart they are.
  • Putting OR between words or phrases (“first-year students” OR “freshman”) will search for results that contain either word or phrase, whether separately or together.
  • Putting NOT before a word (pandemics NOT influenza) will exclude results that contain that word.

Search results will automatically default to materials held by McGovern Library.  To view all possible materials, select "Libraries Worldwide". 

Filtering Results 

If your first search brings back too many results, or your results don’t seem relevant, you can use the filters available on the left side of the screen underneath “Refine This Search”.  These filters hide results that don’t match your selections. The more filters you use, the fewer results you will get, but selecting the right filters can make your results more relevant. Some of the most commonly used filters are explained below.

Held By Library: This field indicates where the material is held at. If the material is not located at McGovern Library, the search will default to Libraries Worldwide. 

Format: There are different types of material format.  The most common are Articles and Books.  To limit to only physical books located within the library, check the box next to 'Print Book'.  To limit only eBooks that are available to read online or download, check the box next to 'eBook'. 

Content Type: There are many types of content, including genres and peer-reviewed materials. 

Publication Year: Publication date limits can be added to narrow and focus search results.  When conducting academic research for current issues, searching the last 5-10 years is recommended. 

Audience: Audience type limits to Juvenile and Non Juvenile materials.  This filter is useful when searching for children's and young adult materials located.


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Searching in the Library Databases

Accessing Databases

Accessing the A-Z Database List

The McGovern Library provides access to over 100 databases, many of which are subscription based and are not free to the general public.  To access the library's databases, start a the library homepage and click on the "Databases List" button located in the Quick Links section. 

From the homepage, you will be redirected to the full list of Databases provided through McGovern Library. 

Finding a Database From the A-Z List

If you know the name of the Database you would like to access, you can either type the name of the database into the search bar, or find the database in the A-Z list.  You can also jump to a letter, for example, selecting 'M' to quickly locate the database Mitchell Daily Republic

If you don't have a specific database to search, but want to find a database within a specific subject area, you can limit the databases by subject.  Click on the "All Subjects" dropdown menu and select the desired subject area. 

Searching Academic Search Premier

Once you select the database Academic Search Premier from the Database List, you will be redirected to the page shown below.  This page is the Advanced Search page, and will allow you to add in various limiters to your search from the beginning.  

Next, type in your keywords and search terms.  Also, add in any limiters you would like to apply from the beginning.  Below is an example search for college students and social media usage.  We will add in limiters in the next step after we search only these terms. 

This search provided 45 search results, which is a fairly manageable number.  We could stop our search here, or we could add in additional limiters.  Additional limiters will allow us to focus our search results more, and will ensure that we are finding results desired.  If the additional limiters bring the search results to zero, we will know that our original search terms were too narrow, and we will have to broaden our search terms. 

We will add the following limiters (which are show in a screenshot below):

  • Publication Date Range: 2015-2020
  • Full-Text
  • Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals

Once your limiters are in place, you can begin looking through the results.  Find an article you like, and click the title.  This will bring you to the article's record and will provide additional information.  Below are some of the additional pieces of information provided. 

PDF Full Text: A PDF copy of the article.  If this is not here, you will need to request the article through Inter-Library Loan to access and read. 
Title: The title is always located at the top of the record, followed by the author and publisher information. 
Subject Terms: These terms are created and provided by the authors, but are great terms to use for subsequent searches.  These terms are also linked (which allows you to click on the term and be re-directed to a search result page for that term).
Abstract: The abstract is a summary of the article, and is written by the author.  Always read the abstract to determine if the article contains information relevant to your research. 
Cite: Citations are provided by the database, but should always be checked before used in case of errors. 

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Contact us: McGovern Library | Ph. 605.995.2618 | Fax 605.995.2893 | 1200 W. University Ave, Mitchell, SD 57301