Main Search Strategies

Search Type

Exact citation
Enter the volume and starting page number in the Search by Citation box. This will uniquely identify the article, making it unnecessary to enter data in the other search box.
Partial citation
If you know the starting page number, enter it in the Search by Citation box. The starting page -- even without a volume -- is still a fairly unique identifying number. Other citation information can be entered in the Search by Authors or Keywords box.
Full titles, or fragments thereof, should be entered in "quotation marks". This forces a phrase search rather than our search engine searching for each word separately.

"Life and death of a cell"

Authors can be entered in the Author field, one per box.

Characters not falling in the English A-Z alphabet cannot be searched, and should be dealt with using a wildcard.

The last name is the main identifier; first (F) initial can be used to further specify your search. If you use initials, they should be entered in the form Lastname, F. (for example, Darwin, C. - note also that the initial is optional, though middle initials can be included as well).

Lastname, F.

Keywords, Subjects
Keywords can either be searched in the Title/Abstract, or anywhere in the article (which includes the title/abstract). The search engine connects multiple words (where a word is text between spaces, or a combination of characters and spaces between quotation marks) with OR statements.

Single letters and common words cannot be searched.

Date Ranges
Date ranges (at the bottom of the Search by Authors or Keywords box) can narrow your search in two ways. You can limit the search to recent articles, or specifically to older articles if you know that (for example) an article by Smith was published in 1996. Date ranges can also be used to limit the search results to articles for which the full text is available on-line by noting the starting date for full-text availability and setting the From date accordingly.
A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric identifier applied to a specific piece of intellectual property, particularly one presented in an online environment -- be that object a book, a scientific paper, a song, an image, or something else. DOIs are commonly used when an article is published online ahead of print. In that case page numbers are not known, so a DOI is used instead.
Articles from a particular institution
Since authors' addresses and affiliations are indexed, they can be searched. For example, a full-text search for


will return articles by an author claiming a Purdue affiliation (as well as any articles written by someone named "Purdue"). This technique can narrow down an author search, especially if the author's name is common. In this case, enter the author's name in the Author field, and the institution (or better yet, just a single word to identify it) in the Word(s) Anywhere in Article field.
Articles that cite a paper written by a certain author
To find an article which references an important author or paper, search for the author's last name in the Word(s) Anywhere in Article field. This will return all articles written by the author, as well as any articles that cite an article written by the author.