When doing research and looking for credible information, especially within a clinical or professional field, databases are your friends.
Don't worry if the term, databases, is new for you. The term is a general one to refer to organized collections of published information, such as newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, and books.
Databases have special search tools, filters, and features to help you find just the right information for papers, projects, or presentations. Some databases are available on the open web, others require a subscription or may be provided by your library or workplace.
Note: You will need to log in to some databases using your MyWestern login info.
The login screen looks like this:
If you have any trouble with access (you shouldn't), let Ellen know.
For your MLT Seminar research, you will be searching for primary journal articles (original research) or journal articles from laboratory journals. The library provides several databases that contain the kinds of journal articles you will need.
This page includes a list of recommended databases for your research, as well as a few tips and tricks for searching.
Every topic and tool is a little different, so if you're having trouble, or want a more personalized recommendation, please reach out to Ellen using the contact info on this page. You can also ask your instructor for suggestions and ideas.
Break down your topic into search terms (for best results, use nouns).
The Advanced Search gives you multiple search boxes. This can help you narrow your results and also break down your topic into searchable components.
Within the advanced search, the Document Type or Publication Type category is a good place to specify what you are looking for.
Select the Full Text checkbox to be sure you get whole articles, not just short summaries and citations.
Search Operators allow you to get really specific about how you want to combine your terms:
AND - retrieves results that include both terms
OR - retrieves results that include either term
NOT - retrieves results including A and excluding B
The Publication search can help you target a few specific laboratory medicine journals to search within. Search for "laboratory" or "clinical lab" in the description/summary box to find relevant journals.
Pay attention to the Subject terms you find. Jot down terms relevant to your research, they may lead to better articles.
The Abstract is a concise summary of the article and can give you a sense of whether or not the article will be helpful.
The Cite / Citation tool is very handy for help with citing your sources. Be sure to document your citations and save your articles as you research so you don't have to retrace your steps later.
Did you find a citation that looks helpful but can't find a full text version of the article? Ask a librarian and we'll see what we can to do to help you track it down.
You may be able to find everything you need in the library's databases linked above. However, if you've tried searching there and still haven't found what you need, these additional resources may be helpful.