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CHE 444 Chemistry Senior Seminar: Home

Talk to a Librarian

Searching Steps

  • Choose a database and add any corresponding databases;
  • Enter search terms and time frame; 
  • Be aware of Full Text and Scholarly-Peer Reviewed checkbox implications 
  • Search 
  • Evaluate Results 
  • Change search words and/or parameters
  • Search Again

Choosing Search Terms

  • To start - Take your best guess. You’re looking for the (4-6) main words that describe and differentiate your topic.   
  • Leave out of, the, in and other words that are meaningless out of context. 
  • Consider all the different language that can be used to name your topic.  
  • Use OR to search for different ways to express a concept. 
  • Use NOT to exclude a particular facet of your topic.

Evaluating List of Search Results

How many results did you get?

  • Too many results- go back and add search terms to be more specific.
  • Too few results- go back and take out search terms to be less specific or re-evaluate your word choice. Check spelling!

Did some articles use different language to describe your topic?

  • Change the words you chose to those words 
  • Use OR to search for both

Using one good article to find more

Keep in mind that at the end of academic articles there should be a list of citations. If the initial article was of interest to you then it is likely that some of the articles cited by the author of the article may be of interest to you as well.

Searching for a specific article (of which you have the Author, Title, Publication Title and Date) differs from searching for a topic. You may need to ILL these articles, so make sure to give yourself enough time.

Searching for a Particular Article

  • Go to the Journals link from the library’s homepage
  • Search for the Publication Title
  • Follow the links to the appropriate issue, if it’s available
  • If it’s not, make an Inter-Library Loan request.

Interlibrary Loan

Articles and books can be requested from within most databases for interlibrary loan. It is likely that it will take up to 7 business days for ILL materials to arrive at Holy Spirit Library.

  • Articles

First check to see if your article is available from another database by selecting the “Check for full-text availability” link. If your article is available you will be directed to the article within the other database. If the article is not available, select the “Request through ILL” and complete the request form.  If the database does not provide a digital ILL form, email the citation to

  • Books

Use Worldcat to search for books in other libraries. Be sure to limit your search by language, and limit your results to Books. Click "Borrow this item from another library" to fill out an interlibrary loan request.


HSL Science Databases

Information Literacy Survey

When you have a minute please visit this link to complete a survey.