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MAT 491: Senior Seminar: Databases

MathSciNet

MathSciNet provides abstracts, bibliographic information, and reviews of mathematical literature. Review articles published in Mathematical Reviews are written by expert reviewers selected by staff mathematicians. In addition to the review articles, MathSciNet also contains direct links to original articles.  

 

JSTOR

JSTOR is  collection of core scholarly journals, many going back to the first volume. Emphasis is on back issue coverage and does not include the current 3-5 years, unless Gordon has a current subscription to the journal. JSTOR provides long term preservation for journals.

Tips for Searching in Library Databases

WHAT CAN I FIND IN A LIBRARY DATABASE?
Library databases are best used for searching for peer-reviewed journal articles. A great database to begin searching is Academic Search Complete. 

KEYWORDS
The building block of a library database search is keywords. Keywords are central ideas or terms within your research question or problem. For example, if we were exploring the topic: what are the effects of noise pollution from boating or shipping on marine mammals?, we might extract the following keywords: prime numbers AND probability.

BOOLEAN SEARCH OPERATORS
Once you have your keywords identified (2-3 is a good place to begin), you then need to connect them together in a way the database understands how to search. This is done using the Boolean search operators AND, OR, and NOT. Connecting keywords using these search operators creates a search string. For example: prime numbers AND probability.

  • AND - narrow search, used to combine terms together and focus search results
  • OR - broad search, used to includes results that contain similar or like words, such as synonyms
  • NOT - narrow search by exclusion, used to exclude results containing a particular keyword


ENTER KEYWORDS IN DATABASE SEARCH BOXES

Enter each keyword onto its own search line. If you have an OR string, include the entire string in one search box. 

USING SEARCH RESULTS

  • Sort your search results by Date Newest so the most current information on a subject is at the top of your results.
  • Use the "Cited by" or "Cited References" features contained in many library databases to view a list of resources that have cited the particular article currently being viewed in their own work or are contained within the Reference list of the current article being viewed.

​Do not limit your search to just one database.  Instead look at a variety of databases both subject specific and interdisciplinary to make sure you are viewing the full scope of literature published on your topic.