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Illinois Tech Library Guides

Finding Journals and Articles: Cool Database Functions


If an article includes the HTML format of the article, you can easily translate the article into your native language.  

Broaden you search: Truncation

A truncation search allows you to search for several similar terms using one word. For example if you wanted to search for information on industry in China, using the search term


will return any results that include the words "industry", "industries", or "industrial".

Many databases use the asterisk * symbol for a truncation search; some may use a question mark ?. Check the help section of the database you're using to be sure, or ask a librarian.

Citation Format

Most databases have a Cite function. You can easily cite your article into different citation formats, such as  APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

1. Click on Cite to view citation formats.   2. Copy and paste the citation format you need. 


NOTE: The database's citation formats are not always currently updated. Always consult the most current citation guide for the exact formatting and punctuation guidelines. Make any necessary corrections before using. 

Need help with citation?

Contact the IIT Writing Center:

Search for a specific phrase

You may already be using this method when you're searching in Google, but by placing quotation marks around a specific phrase, you can limit your results to items that use that exact phrase.

If you search for the exact phrase "pulse generator", the following title will be included in your results,

"Design of a Tunable All-Digital UWB Pulse Generator CMOS Chip for Wireless Endoscope,"

but not the title

"Helix antennas for generators of short high-voltage pulses".

Narrow your search: Filters

Filters take a set of results and allow you to reduce the number by focusing on a specific area. Filters are helpful because you normally have more results returned from a search than you can read. Different databases have different types of filters, but you can usually filter your results by the following areas:
Content type: Also known as "source type" or "Document type," this limits by the type of publication of your results: journals, popular magazines, newspapers, conferences, etc.

Date of publication: This allows you to limit your results to more recent publications, or older articles for a historical perspective. 

Full-text: If you need research articles right away and don't have time to wait for an inter-library loan item to arrive, you can limit your results to items whose entire content exists in the database.

There are many other ways to limit your results; these are only a few examples.