Choose Relevant Search Results

When searching, you will often end up with results that do not help answer your research question or provide evidence. Instead of reading articles or book chapters that will not be useful for your assignment, look for clues in the citation and abstract.

Select the title of the article or book to read the abstract or a short summary (note:this option may not be available for every article or book), which gives you a clear idea of whether or not the article or book is relevant. You can also check for other details, including:

  • Title of article: Is it about your topic?
  • Date: Do you need current information on your topic (within the last 1-5 years)?
  • Subjects: Do you see your topic or related terms?
  • Scholarly: The journal indicates if the article is scholarly or peer reviewed. More information can be found on the Finding Peer Reviewed Articles guide.

The image below shows a citation and details for a scholarly article from Laser Search. Citations and article details contain useful information such as the article title, journal or book title, date, subjects, and the abstract (or summary). 

Picture of an article abstract