MODULE 4: Articles as Information Sources:
Section 2 of 5, SEARCHING FOR ARTICLES BY SUBJECT, page 2 of 3.


Jobs ... the world of work.

Where we look (which databases) depends upon what we are looking for.

A counseling student or instructor might look in a psychology database.

A business researcher might look in a business or management database.

And so on.

The TROY Library databases page lists databases alphabetically, but it also breaks them down by broad subject areas.

For our first search, we want to find articles on the topic of the glass ceiling. If we were not familiar with the concept, we might need a little background information first. We might check with our instructor or in a textbook. We might just browse a number of articles. In this case, let's use a reference book ... or, the online version thereof.

Let's peek in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The OED states that glass ceiling is, "an unofficial or unacknowledged barrier to personal advancement, esp. of a woman or a member of an ethnic minority in employment."

It goes on to provide historical examples of the use of the term:

1984 Adweek 15 Mar. (Magazine World 1984) 39/2 Women have reached a certain point—I call it the *glass ceiling. They're in the top of middle management and they're stopping and getting stuck. 1988 New Scientist 8 Oct. 62/3 Sadly, astronomers from all countries report a ‘glass ceiling’. The proportion of women is highest for the lower grades. 1991 Newsweek 11 Mar. 57/1 In the Army, where three in 10 enlistees are African-American, 11 percent of the officers are black. Advances in the ranks are obstructed by ‘glass ceilings’, where networking and old-boyism still speed the advance of mediocre whites. 1994 Daily Tel. 25 Aug. 25/1 After several spirited assaults, the FT-SE's 3200 glass ceiling finally gave way yesterday, allowing the index to close sharply higher after a day of drifting. 1995 Economist 7 Jan. 5/3 For most top amateurs there is a glass ceiling on the professional circuit, and it does not take them long to hit it.

Just to be clear, the above definition with sample text is not an article; it's an entry from a reference tool. In print, it's pretty easy to know what it is; you need a forklift to move it. Online, it looks about the same as everything else online ... exactly like your computer monitor!


Now that we have some idea about what we are looking for, let's get some articles, keeping good records along the way:

10/16/08: Searched "glass ceiling" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Printed results.

TROY has many good business and management databases. Three of the most used are: ABI/Inform, Business Source Premier, and General BusinessFile ASAP.

Let's start with Business Source Premier. To log in, we click on the name of the database and are presented with a login screen. The username and password to access the databases of the Troy University Library are your TROY e-mail username and password.

For demonstration purposes (and to have a little fun), we will pretend to log in as fictional researcher Johnny B. Goode. You will need to use your Trojan e-mail username and password to log in.


We are in!

Click on the thumbnail image to take a look at the search menu. Don't be too overwhelmed ... we are just going to take it for a quick test drive.

Two search choices, represented by checkboxes, which are present in many databases, are those that will limit the search:

A quick search (with no limiters on)...

...finds about 800 items. Items, hits, results ... these are words that mean "things." In this case, the things are articles—articles from magazines, journals, newspapers.

If we add the Full Text limiter, there are about 500 items.

Here is a snapshot of the results list. Notice that most of the articles are fairly short; for example, the article "Cracking the Highest Glass Ceiling" is only 3/8 of a page long. This usually not the kind of things instructors want used as information sources for papers. (Discussion continued below image.)


Performing the same search, but using the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals limiter, finds more than 150 articles, but this time, they are more substantial.

Take a look ... much better!

Click on an article and you can read, print, save, or e-mail the entire thing. This is a snapshot of page 1 (1 of 23 pages) for item 5 on the list.


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