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Using the Basic Search
Using the Advanced Search (Recommended)
The format and display of search results is the same for Basic and Advanced searches.
Less is more, try to get less than 60 results per search. You want a smaller, more accurate selection of articles or books!
Use the "refine results" in the left-hand column to narrow down your results.
Use a variety of words or phrases to describe what you're looking for, but keep it simple, and don't be afraid to do multiple searches.
Find a few articles that work, and look for new words/phrases to describe what you're looking for, and search again using those new phrases or words.
Gather citations as you go. All of our databases have a cite feature somewhere on the page of each item. If you think you might use an article or some other bit of information, save the citation in either word or Google Docs for later use!
Still having problems? Ask us for help!
Relevance on JSTOR is a combination of many things. Key elements include:
More unique terms in the corpus result in higher scores when queries contain those terms. For example, the keyword “epistemology" gets a greater boost than “university” because it is less common.
Phrase matches are boosted higher than just keyword matches. A query for "the quick brown fox" will assign higher relevance to a document containing the exact words "the quick brown fox" than a document containing "the brown fox is quick."
Publication date -> newer documents can have a slight boost