"Full text" means that you have access to the entire article - not just the citation and abstract. By selecting "full text" when you're searching in a database, you are telling that database to only return results that you will be able to read immediately.
Articles that have been "peer reviewed" (or sometimes are referred to as "scholarly" articles) were written by experts and have been through a very rigorous editing process.
The manuscript of the article is sent to acknowledged experts in the same field who review the information. Once they give their seal of approval, the article can be published.
Because the editing process is so extensive, articles that have been peer reviewed are considered to be the most reliable type of source.
These peer reviewed articles are written for professionals already working in the field. You can expect a peer reviewed article to use discipline-specific vocabulary, and they usually are 10 - 40 pages in length.
A journal is a collection of articles published on a periodic basis (once per month, three times per year, etc.). Some journals contain articles that have been peer reviewed. Others are considered "trade journals" and contain articles relevant to a specific occupation, but have not been through the peer review process.
Most databases have an Advanced Search function. Find journal articles in a database by searching by:
Once you have a list of results, you should be able to refine your search by limiting:
Once you're looking at the publication information for an article, keep in mind that you are likely able to click on hyperlinked information found here, such as the author's name, to find more articles written by that author. You should also be able to click on "subject" terms.
Subjects are a list of terms used to describe a major point of the article. They work similarly to a hash tag (#) used in social media. When you click on a phrase with a hash tag in your favorite social media site, you'll see a list of posts from people around the world who used that exact same hash tag term. For example:
In the same way, when you click on a subject term, you'll see all articles for which that subject is a major focus.
To learn more about searching in the library's online resources see http://guides.centralpenn.edu/onlineresources
What is a controlled vocabulary? A controlled vocabulary is a set of selected words or phrases that are used to aid in the search of organization, and therefore the ability to search and retrieve information. Synonyms and words that could be spelled different ways are often redirected to the 'authorized' term, assuring that search results are accurate. Controlled vocabularies are often hierarchical in structure. Meaning the authorized word can often be linked to broader or narrower search terms. Basically using a controlled vocabulary helps you to be precise in your search. Example.....
What is MeSH? MeSH is the controlled vocabulary thesaurus of the NLM (the National Library of Medicine). The NLM uses MeSH to index the articles found in the MEDLINE and PubMed databases. It is also used in the descriptions of items cataloged by the NLM such as books, documents, and images. Since the NLM covers all areas or medical and health care using MeSH terms in your search can be very helpful.
CINAHL headings are based on MeSH but with additional headings added.