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Search tools - an overview

When you have formulated your search problem and considered what information you need, it is time to choose search tools.

These search tools may have different characteristics and may demand different search methods. You should be aware of the fact that you will get different results depending on which tool you choose and how well you can apply your search technique to the content and structure of that particular search tool.

Search services/discovery tools

Search services and discovery tools are services that offer searching in a wide variety of sources simultaneously with one single interface. The university library's search service Primo is such a tool that make it possible to search for printed and electronic books, articles and other publications from different distributors that the library pays for.

Libris is a national search service which contains bibliographic records of the holdings of Swedish research libraries.

Google Scholar is Google's search service for academic publications. Through the library's link service 'Get it' you can search in Google Scholar and get links to documents that are only limited to be used by users at Jönköping University.

Article databases

Article databases provides more in-depth and specialized search possibilities than other search services. This kind of databases usually contain a better and more updated selection of articles. Furthermore, they can often offer a structured subject index and thesaurus.

Article databases can be publisher databases that comprise the journals published by them, usually within several different subject areas. Another type of article databases are aggregators that contain articles from several different publishers but within a specific subject field. Usually, aggregators only give access to the reference with abstract to each article. In order to read the whole article you need to go to a full text database or find a printed version of the journal. Use the library's 'Get it' link to read the whole article.

Article databases make it possible to find scholarly articles, but articles from trade magazines may also be found there. In most cases, you can search for scholarly articles only by limiting your search by choosing the "Peer review" option.

E-book databases

The university library provides access to several e-book databases in different subject areas. In most cases several users can access the same book simultaneously. In e-book databases you can search for words in the whole text of the books.

The library owns most of the e-books in the databases which means that you can print out and download contents from the databases. In cases where the library subscribes for an e-book database, there are some limitations when it comes to printing, downloading, and simultaneous users.

In databases available through a subscription, titles can sometimes be changed during the subscription period.

Facts databases

In a fact database (data bank) the contents consist of facts of different kinds in the form of numerical data and/or text. Examples of this are statistics, demographic facts, company information, patents, standards, and chemical substances.

Citation databases

Citation databases provide information on in which articles a specific author or article have been cited. Searching in a citation database will result in references to documents that have cited the original reference, that is, you are finding your way ahead in time, from the time of the original source and onwards. Thereby, you can see how the research developed. If you know about an important article you can see who have cited this, and in this way you will find new interesting articles.

Citation databases can also be used to measure the impact of an article. An article which has received lots of citations from other scholarly journal articles implies that it has had an impact on the research community. However, other factors come into play when you are to evaluate the quality of an article.

During the recent years, citation databases has started to also include books and anthologies of high academic quality.

Continue to Choosing search words

Content updated 2019-08-07

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