Kelvin Smith Library
Interdisciplinary research, whether research which seeks to draw connections between theater and psychology, or attempts to inform research in the performance of Classical Greek plays by using the literature of classics, is best addressed by using the KSL Discovery search engine. Discovery is a meta-search 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 give you your most relevant results first if it works with small sets of results. It can also work within specific facets of your research, be that results which share the same indexed terms or come from the literature of the same discipline. Below is an example of a search strategy which tries to maximize the retrieval of highly relevant results in Discovery searches.
Using Discovery to find Online Journal Articles:
Go to library.case.edu and look for the Search Discovery box (midway down the page, to the right).
Overall strategy: execute searches which generate a large number of citations and then use various filters to reduce the results to a manageable set.
Step 1: 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, music* = music or musician or musical. Phrases should be put in quotes: “united states”.
Step 2: apply as many mechanical limits as possible. For online journal articles, apply the following limits from the left hand Refine Results sidebar: under Limit To select full-text, and under Limit by Source Type, check the box next to Academic Journals.
Step 3: limit to a subject. Under Limit by Subject, click Show More … and make a selection. These are terms which show up in the indexing for an article or the full text of an article. Choose one (or two) which seems relevant to your topic.
Step 4: close the Subject Terms box. 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 name of the journal. This may help you understand the author’s perspective on a subject.
c. Note the Subjects underneath each title. These are also clues to content.
e. Access the full text and download to your computer. Use the Find command to see if certain terms related to your topic are present and where they appear in the article.
Step 5: If an article look promising, click on the small 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.
Step 6: The key to this search strategy is step 7, which is a reiteration of steps 3-6: Once you have browsed articles under one subject heading, go back, unclick your choice under Subject and choose another to work with. Repeat the process of browsing and saving. Do this as long as you like, choosing different subject terms, or even modifying your original search. Browse and save from these sets of articles.
Step 7: 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.