Kelvin Smith Library
Discovery is a metasearch engine which searches all resources -- print and online -- which KSL makes available to you. These include all catalog records in our online catalog and the OhioLINK catalog, the full text of all our online journals, all the indexing and abstracting in our research databases, and all our full text databases. It uses a relevancy algorithm to sort search results and this algorithm is most likely to deliver relevant results if it works with small sets of results, as well as working within specific facets of your research.
Below is a sample search strategy which tries to maximize the retrieval of highly relevant results in Discovery searches.
Using Discovery to find online journal articles
Overall strategy: execute searches which generate a large number of citations and then use various filters to reduce the results to a manageable set.
Format your search after giving careful thought to the terms which most accurately represent your topic on a broad level. The best searches are small strings of nouns. Terms are connected by logical operators: AND, OR, NOT, but the AND operator is understood and doesn’t need to be explicitly included. Generally avoid terms such as: relationship, effect, or impact which relate search terms to each other. You may use a single asterisk to stand in for multiple characters: wom*n = woman or women, cultur* = culture or cultural or musical. Phrases should be put in quotes: “united states”.
Apply as many mechanical limits as possible. For online journal articles, apply the following limits from the left hand sidebar: under Refine Results section, under Limit To click on Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals and Full Text; and under Limit By Source Type click on Academic Journals. Explore other limiters, such as Limit by Subject, as needed.
Browse the results to find relevant articles. There are a number of ways to browse quickly and effectively:
a. Note the article title.
b. Note the title of the journal. This may help you understand the author’s perspective on a subject.
If an article looks promising, click the "Add to Folder" icon to the right of the article’s title. This will place the article in a save folder for as long as you stay in Discovery. If you leave Discovery you will lose your saved articles.
Once you have browsed articles under one subject heading, go back, uncheck your choice under Limit by Subject (and sometimes even Discipline) and choose another to work with. Repeat the process of browsing and saving. Do this as long as you like, choosing different subject terms, different disciplines, even modifying your original search. Browse and save from these sets of articles.
When you feel you have enough articles, click on your saved articles folder in the upper right-hand corner. Note that you can reformat the list in various citation formats such as MLA or Chicago/Turabian. Be sure to email the list (in its original or Discovery format) to yourself. By doing so you will receive a list which retains links to the full text.