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Grants and Grantsmanship

Ideas about where to find funding and how to ask for it

Database suggestions

An appropriate database depends on your purpose.  Searching for journal articles can take place at various stages in your research agenda and grant proposal preparation.  If you are just starting out, a database that provides broad coverage of a major discipline group or several major disciplines may be the better choice.  These include:

Academic Search Premier -- Academic Search Premier is a multi-disciplinary database designed specifically for academic institutions. With a large collection of peer-reviewed full-text journals, the database offers information in nearly every area of academic study including: computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.  Updated daily.  1975+

Business Source Premier -- Business Source Premier covers most business and management topics including accounting, banking, economics, finance, international trade, marketing, and public administration. It contains the full-text (or abstracts) of articles from thousands of scholarly and professional publications, academic journals, and trade magazines.  Updated daily.  Indexing for some journals, 1926+, most other journal titles, 1965+

Proquest Social Sciences Premium -- The ProQuest Social Sciences Collection abstracts and indexes over 10,000 titles in the social sciences, while also providing access to over 1,800 scholarly journals. A majority of the titles are published outside of the United States. This resource is both international and interdisciplinary in scope.  Updating varies according to the policies of component databases.  Usually monthly to quarterly.  1871+

Scopus -- Scopus contains over 50 million records in the areas of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, arts, and humanities, with coverage strongest in the physical sciences (7,200+ titles) and health sciences (6,800+ titles), followed by the life sciences (4,300+ titles), and finally the social sciences & humanities (5,300+ titles).  More than 25,000 titles (including open access journals) from around the world are covered in Scopus. Updated daily.  1996+

Web of Science -- The Web of Science Core Collection, available through the Thomson Reuters InCites platform, includes nine additional indexes containing information gathered from thousands of scholarly journals, books, book series, reports, conferences, and more.   Updated weekly.  1980+

If you are working on a comprehensive literature review, then using multiple databases will ensure depth and breadth of coverage.  You can find out what databases the subject specialist librarians have recommended for your field by using the suggestions under each discipline in the Subject section on the Indexes and Databases page.

In addition to articles in the journal literature databases, you can find out what dissertations have been completed in your area.

Dissertations and Theses  - Includes records for U.S. dissertations from 1861 and foreign dissertations beginning in the year 1637.  Titles available as native or image PDF formats include free twenty-four page previews. For titles that are available full text from ProQuest, an "Order a Copy" link provides information about ordering options.  Rutgers users have free access to the full text (PDF format) of Doctoral dissertations completed at Rutgers University since 1997. A small number of Rutgers dissertations from previous years are also available full text.

For more database choices, use the Subject lists on the Indexes and Databases page (University Libraries home page/Find Articles/Indexes and Databases).

Please noteMost of these databases, unlike Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science, use subject headings/descriptors.  Incorporating subject headings/descriptors into your search strategy will assure you that you have retrieved all relevant sources.  Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science use keywords only to retrieve citations.  To achieve the same level of authority, you must be sure you have included all the possible ways to describe your ideas.  You will also spend more time in filtering through the results.


Advanced search techniques

     Database search interfaces are designed to give researchers different options in their search techniques.  Using more advanced search techniques will increase your efficiency since they require more typing and less clicking.

Using truncation

     Truncation symbols accommodate alternate spellings of words (pediatric vs. paediatric) and multiple endings (adolescen: = adolescent or adolescents or adolescence).  Instruction sheets for Ebsco and Ovid databases follow.

Truncation in Ovid databases  (PsycINFO and Medline)             

Truncation in Ebsco databases

Entering more information into the search box

     When you enter your search, it is possible to use nesting to get more information into the box.  Nesting uses parentheses to direct the search interface where to begin the search.  For example:

                   (adolescence or teenagers) and loneliness

The search interface goes to the statement within the parentheses first, creating a big group of items to then combine with loneliness.  You will receive those items that include loneliness and teenagers as well as those items that include loneliness and adolescence.  There is one caution to this technique however.  If you plan to return to any of these terms, you will have to re-enter them separately.

       As you conduct your searches, take a look at the search history.  You can enter the same information in the search interface supplied statements.  For example, in an Ovid database, if you plan to limit your search results, you can enter "limit (search statement number) to English language" rather than clicking and scrolling on the Limits page.  You can also enter terms as subject headings in an Ovid database by placing a forward slash after the term: dyslexia/.  

Updating an older article with citation searching


          Citation searching offers you the opportunity to update the content of an article by discovering articles by authors who have cited the article in the bibliographies of their own publications.  The assumption is that the later articles discuss the same or closely related ideas to those in the article you have.  While you update the content of the article, you are also finding out how much influence your original article has had on research in the field.

          Web of Science, including Science Citation Index and Social Science Citation Index, is a comprehensive resource for citation searching.  It has traditionally been considered the most authoritative database for citation searching and currently provides access to citations from 10,000 scholarly journals.  The database offered by the University Libraries dates from 1984 to the present.  (The date refers to the publication date for the citing articles rather than the cited works.)

          Many databases supplied by the University Libraries offer casual citation searching.  When you identify an appropriate article during a search, the citation display will include a link on the right to “Find citing articles.”  Other databases may use “cited by,” “citing articles,” “citing documents,” “X articles cite this document,” or a similar variation somewhere in the citation display.


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