Skip to Main Content

AFRICAN 202: Introductory Topics in African Cultural Studies (Spring 2021) : Database Search Strategy

Searching Within Databases

View the Searching Within Databases Tip Sheet to learn how to use AND to combine terms, limit to articles from scholarly journals or by date of publication, use subject headings and abstract to find keywords, find full text of articles, and use tools to generate or export citations.   

Finding Full Text Articles

  • If you want to read the full text of article in a database, look for a link or button that says “Full Text,” “HTML Full Text,” “PDF Full Text”, "Linked Full Text", has an image of a document, or something similar. 
  • If there is not a link to the full text, Select the Find It button. Clicking this button searches all of the UW-Madison Libraries databases.
    • If the full text is available online, click the link to get to the full text. 
    • If it is not available online, use the Look for Print and Other Formats in the Library Catalog to look for a print copy.
    • You can also Request a Copy of the article. Library staff will scan the article and send it to your email.  If the article is available on campus, it wil take 1-3 days.  If the article is not available on campus, it will take 1-9 days.  There is no charge for this service.

Search Tips


  • Use AND to combine different words to find all those words, in any order.  
    • urban youth AND language
  • Use OR to combine similar words or synonyms or variations
    • urban youth OR adolescents
  • Use quotation marks ( " ") to search words as a phrase
    • "socio-economic class" 
  • Use truncation (*) to search for varied endings 
    • citizen* to find citizen, citizens, citizenship and citizenry
  • Look at Subjects to find additional keywords and use them to find relevant and specific results.
  • Look for an option to limit to Scholarly Journals on the left side of search results in most databases