Suppose your professor has given you an assignment to find an article discussing the ethics of cloning. Your first step is to determine your KEY TERMS. In this case they are CLONING and ETHICS.
If you perform a search for CLONING you would retrieve over 40,000 results as seen below. This is more than you could reasonably evaluate and chances are most of the results will not be on your topic.
Use AND to narrow your results. This time search CLONING AND ETHICS. Notice your results have dropped to 796 and they will be more focused on your topic. This search only returns articles dealing with both CLONING and ETHICS. If it is only one or the other you they will not appear here.
You could further narrow your results by adding more KEY TERMS such as HUMANS or ANIMALS if you wanted to be more specific. Something like CLONING AND ETHICS AND HUMANS. Just be aware the narrower you make your search the fewer results you will find. It is also possible to narrow your search too much. Always start out broad then narrow as you go along.
Now let’s refine our results even further. In the left side menu find the LIMIT TO options. From here you can limit your results to FULL TEXT results, SCHOLARLY/PEER REVIEWED results, or view results published in a particular time period. For more information on what SCHOLARLY/PEER REVIEWED means visit our Information Literacy Toolkit Guide.
Select FULL TEXT to limit your results to only those results where the full article is included.
We’re now down to 464 results.
You can also limit your results to a certain time period. In this case we will limit our results to the last five years. Click on the slide bar and drag it left or right to change the year.
You are now down to 38 results which are focused on your topic, available in FULL TEXT, and were published between 2009 and 2014.
Using these LIMIT options you were able to reduce the number of results from 796 to 38.