Accurate Research the Easy Way

Accurate Research the Easy Way


Accurate Research the Easy Way

Term papers … book reports … that big science or history project you need to finish …

What do these things havein common? They all require gathering information.

These days there are a lot of ways to get information. Search engines are fast and easy, but accuracy is not guaranteed and weeding through all those links can take forever!Books, magazines and encyclopediasare usually accurate but can be hard to find and oftencan’t be removed from the library.

What if there was a way to combine the speed of the internet with the accuracyof the stuff on the shelves? Well there is!If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s time to check out EBSCO’sStudent Research Center. It’s very fast, extremelyaccurate and you can access itfor freefrom a school or home computer,24-7!

Logging In

Here’s how it works. You can login from your library web site using a library computer or, if you know your user ID and password, via any kind of internet connection at (see screen shot at right). If you need help, askyour librarian or a teacher.


Once logged in, you’ll clickthe Student Research Centerlink and find yourself looking at ascreen like the one shown below. Now you’re ready to begin searching. Using SRC is similar to using a search engine … but muchbetter. First off, all the information in SRC is from trustworthy, reputable books and periodicals, which means it’s accurate. And unlike search engines (such as Google or Yahoo!), SRC has lots of options (called limiters and expanders) to help narrow down and focus your search.

Startby typing a search term or phrase (1) such as “global warming.”But don’t click that “Search” button just yet!

Chances are you’re looking for specific sources, in this case we’ll say newspapers and magazines.In most cases you’re also going to want the full article, not just a summary (or “abstract”), so checking the “Full Text” limiter(2) is typically a good

idea. The “Published Date from” limiter (3) helps to place some time constraints

on your search. For very recent articles, set the date range to search for those published within the last several months or current year.

If your project requiresa more historical perspective, try a broader date range. Finally, the “Lexile” limiter (4)can assist you in making sure the content you are seeking isn’t too far above or below your reading or grade level. Now click “Search.”


Once you click“Search,”you’ll see a screen like the one below with a results list (1)that matches your search criteria. Your results list will contain important information about the articles that match your search, such as title, author, publication date and number of pages.

You’ll also see the number of results (in this case (2)that number is 234). Note:If you get too few (or too many) results, trying changing your search term or adjusting the limiters. For now, let’s assume you like what you see and continue.

Your source types are shown as icons (3) in the upper left. Clicking one of these means your results will be narrowed to that publication type alone. Another possibility sorting your results (4) by date or relevance.

To the left of the results list is a column of subject headings or (5)Clusters.”

Clusters represent articles within your original search that have been grouped into more focused subject areas. Clicking one of theseheadings will help narrow your search even further. For instance, clicking “ENVIRONMENTALISM”will yield only results related to bothGlobal Warming and Environmentalism.

Thelist of clusters is also a good place to examine possibilities for more research topics.However, since several of the article titles at the top of the list look interesting, let’s take a look at one of them.

Click on the “PDF Full Text”icon for the article “RisingSeas,” and (as you’ll see on the right) the article appears in its original form, just as it did in the Oct. 22 issue of Scholastic News. You can read this story by Elena Cabral in its entirety, or, if you think it’s not quite what you wanted, go back and look through the other 233 results. If you use the tools at your disposal, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly and easily you’ll find what you need.

Happy Researching!

Note: This document was prepared and posted in November 2007. The content in SRC is updated daily and results may differ from those shown here. Remember, this document is meant to provide a basic look at researching via SRC. For more advanced search methods, please visit or ask your librarian for assistance.