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Research Basics

A Guide to Academic Research at Dugan Library

Find Articles in Databases

1. Choose a Database

A-Z Databases - A complete listing of all the library's database subscriptions and recommended web resources. You can browse database titles alphabetically, or use the Subject dropdown to see the top databases for that field.

After selecting a database, you will be prompted to login using your Newman Microsoft 365 username and password if you are off campus. If you do not know your Newman Microsoft 365 password or haven't set it up, contact the IT help desk at 316-942-4291 ext. 2222.

2. Enter Keywords

Basic Searching

The very basic way to search in a database is to just add your keywords and click Search. You can still use the techniques discussed on the Choose Keywords and Create Search Statements pages for best results.

basic search box

Advanced Searching

There is usually an "Advanced Search" link near the basic search box in a database. Some databases will even begin with an advanced search. You can typically spot an advanced searching interface because it will have multiple search boxes and may include multiple search fields. These search fields allow you to limit your keywords to the title, author, text, or subject terms of the article.

Subject terms are standardized terms that describe the article's content. Each search box will also have associated drop-down menus to select Boolean terms AND, OR, or NOT to connect to the other search boxes.

You can still use AND, OR, or NOT within each search box as well (and using OR within a search box is recommended vs between advanced search boxes). Capitalization of your operators is recommended for visual clarity, but not required in all databases. 

advanced search box

3. Limit the Results

Most databases allows you to limit your search results using a variety of criteria. We call these tools limiters. Common limiters include:

Full Text

STOP! Do NOT rush to use the Full Text limiter! This prevents you from finding relevant articles that may be available in one of our other database subscriptions. If a PDF or HTML link to the full text of an article isn't available, use the full text finder link link to see if the article is available in another database. If full text isn't available in any of our databases, you can always request the item from another institution through Interlibrary Loan.

Peer Reviewed

Most databases allow you to limit your results to only articles from peer-reviewed journals. Look for a check box on the search page or on a side column on the results page.

peer reviewed selector

Publication Date

Depending on your research topic, you may want to limit your article results to a specific date range. This can be in the form of a free text box, dropdown menu, or a slider as seen in the example below from an EBSCO database.

date range slider

Publication Type

Limiting by the publication/source type is helpful when you're looking for (or want to eliminate) certain types of publications, such as academic journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.

 publication type selectors


The language limiter is a quick way to eliminate articles written in languages that you can't read.

 language selectors