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Interpreting Search Results

Most databases have several ways of displaying the results of a search. Often the search results are first displayed as a list of brief records, such as the example below.

database search results


The numbered items above are:

  1. Your search terms: In this case, we searched for the subject "College Students" AND the phrase "Social aspects."
  2. The number of results: This search found a total of 738 articles, 10 of which are displayed on the first page.
  3. Title of the article: In this database, you can click on the title of the article, and a page with more detailed information including an abstract for the article will open. 
  4. Citation information: Here you'll get all the information you'll need to create a citation for your article, including where and when the article has been published. In this case, the article was published in the March 2017 issue of the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media (volume 61, issue 1). The notation "p163-181" means that the article begins on page 163 and ends on 181. The citation also notes that the article is 19 pages long.
  5. Availability: This last line indicates if the article is available in full-text for you to retrieve immediately from the database. If the full-text is not available, either an abstract or citation will be given. The full-text of this article is available as a .pdf file. 
Chapter 5 — Page 16