A Note about Databases...
There's a big difference between navigating a website like nytimes.com and navigating a New York Times article whose text is included in a database (aka e-resource) like Factiva.
Databases are designed for structured searching, which means they are powerful and can give you very precise results, but there's also a learning curve. Be patient! The time you put in to learning how to use a database will pay off in the long run. Plus, learning to use one database makes it much easier to learn other databases.
General Database Tips
- always look for advanced search options
- let the database teach you: familiarize yourself with the menu options, read around the "help" section, and always pay attention to the terms attached to individual articles
- be strategic about when to do a general keyword search and when to do a more precise subject or index term search
- remember that not all index terms are applied consistently: the best approach is to try a few different versions of your search
- for more details, see MIT's wonderful Database Search Tips
Specific Tips for Current News Databases:
- Nexis Uni
- Nexis Uni's Support and Training page: https://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/support/nexis-uni/default.page
- Nexis Uni Search FAQ (opens a .pdf): http://www.lexisnexis.com/pdf/academic/nexis-uni/Search-FAQ.pdf
- IMPORTANT NOTE: our Factiva license permits up to 6 simultaneous users---if you're user #7, you'll get a message saying the service is unavailable. Just wait and try again in a few minutes
- Factiva cheat sheet from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism: http://researchcenter.journalism.cuny.edu/database-tutorials/factiva-cheat-sheet/
- Factiva Quick Reference Guide (opens a .pdf): http://factiva.com/en/cp/collateral/files/Factiva_Free_Text_Search_Product_Sheet_May_2013.pdf
Contact Info and Credits
Please don't hesitate to get in touch with me, Odile Harter, at email@example.com, if you have any questions or would like some help brainstorming your research.
This guide uses, with permission, material from my colleagues Keeley Wilczek, Hugh Truslow, and Pam Matz, who built the following guides:
The following Harvard library research guides might also be of interest:
Fred Burchsted's comprehensive Guide to Newspapers and Newspaper Indexes
Fred's comprehensive Guide to Periodicals [i.e. magazines and other non-newspaper periodicals]