How to Search in Political Science Complete
Visual: Homepage of Political Science Complete
Narration: Hello, everyone. This video shows how to do a basic keyword search in a Library database. For this demonstration we’ll be using the database, Political Science Complete. Now, to begin with, we’ll need to identify the most relevant keywords to use in our search. The easiest way to do this is to pull keywords right out of our research question. Our sample research question for today will be: How has homeland security spending affected terrorism? So, our keywords are going to be “homeland security,” “spending,” and “terrorism.” I’m going to go ahead and enter those in to these search boxes, using one search box per concept.
Visual: Typing the keywords, “homeland security,” “spending,” and “terrorism” into the three separate search boxes and scrolling down on page.
Narration: Now, before we search, we can scroll down and under the Limit your Results section, you can see that full text is already checked, but we may also want to limit to peer-reviewed scholarly journals, so I’m going to check that, too. Then, we’ll search.
Visual: Clicking search and going to results page.
Narration: We can see that we got 28 results from this search. If you wanted to further narrow your results, you could scroll down and look to the left in this Limit To section.
Visual: Scrolling down and pointing out tools on the left.
Narration: Here you’ll find a timeline feature which will allow you to drag the date to narrow your date range, or you could limit by Publication Type or by Subject. Once you have your limiters set the way you like them, you’ll need to browse the results list to identify the most relevant sources.
Visual: Scrolling up to top of results list.
Narration: In addition to reading the title of the article, it’s often helpful to review the Subjects, listed in this section of the entry. When you do that, you’ll notice some additional keywords that might improve your search. For example, here we see this subject term “national security,” and if we scroll down, in this one we see this term, “counterterrorism.” Now these are both synonyms of “homeland security,” so I’m going to go ahead and add those in to this search.
Visual: Scrolling up to search boxes.
Narration: We are going to separate these terms with the word OR. So we have “homeland security OR national security OR counterterrorism.” We’ll see how that affects our results.
Visual: Clicking Search and refreshing results.
Narration: That brings us up to 45 results.
Visual: Clicking on first result and scrolling down.
Narration: When you click on a result, you can scroll down and read the abstract and that’s going to really help you determine its relevancy.
Visual: Clicking back to the results page and scrolling down to point out full text options.
Narration: And then from the results page, you can also click on the full text links to read the full text of the article. Now, this is a PDF full text link. You’ll also see full text links with HTML. Either of those will take you to the full text. Another thing you might see is this Find@Walden link. Whenever you see this, be sure to click it because this means that this article is located in another one of our databases and clicking this link will take you there.
That does it for this short demonstration of how to perform a basic keyword search in a library database. If you have any questions please contact us through the Ask a Librarian tool on the Library’s homepage, and happy searching!
Created October 2017 by Walden University Library