Q. I do not know which items are relevant to my topic
Choose Relevant Search Results
When searching, you will often end up with results that do not help answer your research question or provide evidence. Instead of reading articles or book chapters that will not be useful for your assignment, look for clues in the citation and abstract.
In many databases and the library catalog, select the title of the article or book to read the abstract or a short summary, which gives you a clear idea of whether or not the article or book is relevant. You can also check for other details, including:
- Title of article: Does it include your topic?
- Date: Do you need the most current information on this topic?
- Subjects: Do you see your search terms or related terms?
- Scholarly: The title of the journal can tell you if the article is scholarly. More information about scholarly articles can be found here.
The image below shows an entry scholarly article from the Academic Search Complete database. This entry contains useful information such as the article title, journal title or book title, publication date, and subjects, which provide valuable clues about whether or not this resource is relevant to your research.