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Databases Search Results-- It's all in the details!

How to use this guide

When you run a search in PowerSearch or other databases, the results you see are more than just a title. Use this guide to catch the little details in your results. The details will tell you more information to make a better determination of the source's relevancy to your work.

Result icons: what do they mean?

Your best bet for credible and scholarly info.  Not all with this icon are considered peer-reviewed, but this is the most common icon in EBSCO.

This result is actually not an article—it’s an e-book. You can read it in your browser, email a limited amount of pages, and borrow it with Adobe Digital Editions.

When you see this icon, the source is a long written piece on a specific subject to present an original idea-- done as part of the requirements of completing a Masters (thesis) or Doctoral (dissertation) degree. Dissertations and theses are good for background information, but are frequently very lengthy and difficult to obtain. It is not recommended for general research.

A news source! For instance, from The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, etc.  These articles are typically short, but can be useful for primary source and/or current issues research.

Research Starters

  • Typically shows up at the top of your results in PowerSearch if the key search terms you used are broad and more popular.
  • A great place for starting your research and getting background information.
  • Summary articles-- reads like an encyclopedia entry. Think: Wikipedia, but more credible!
  • Can be cited in your paper. 

Related Research Guides

EBSCO: An overview of how to use EBSCO databases

HELP! I have a research paper!: Get started on your research.

Information Sources: Help with sorting through the many different types of information, to get the best and most useful to your topic.

Introduction to Library Research: How to conduct your research, using Library resources.

Permalinks or Permanent URL Links:  How to share articles effectively in the databases.

Research Help Desk

There are three ways to get in touch with the Research Help Desk:

Phone: 781-768-7303


Make a Research Consultation Appointment!