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Using Gale Article Databases: Keyword Searching

Gale Database Keyword Searching

advanced keyword search in Gale database

Most Gale databases use standard search screens that provide various ways to search. The Advanced Search, or keyword search, is the default search screen. The Advanced Search screen gives the user more limiting options and multiple search boxes for complex searches.

Here is a keyword search for "plastic bags" and pollution. Quotation marks around "plastic bags" tells the database to search for those two words exactly in that order. Using the word and between keywords tells the database that all results must use those two words in the article. 

This search has also been limited to articles printed in peer-reviewed journals. Peer-reviewed journals are academic journals that have been checked by a committee of experts. They are also called "refereed" journals.


Gale Database Search Results

Article with full text

Results are listed in order by date of publication with newest items at the top of the list. In most cases, results include title, author, and date of publication. In the picture below, the article is available in full text. Clicking on the title will display the complete article which can be read online, emailed or printed. 


Article with citation only



This article is not available in full text. Only an abstract is available. An abstract is a summary of the article. 

Refining Search Results

refining search results with additional keyword


There are several ways to refine or filter search results using the options on the side of the results screen. For example, you can limit your results to magazine articles, academic journal articles or news articles. That's helpful if you specifically want to limit your results to magazine articles and exclude academic journal articles form the results or vice versa. If you had not limited results to Peer-reviewed at the beginning of your search, that filtering option is available on the results screen. 

You can also limit your results by adding search terms. In this example, the term "ocean" has been added to the search. This tells that database to do a new search with all articles in the results using the words "plastic bags" and pollution and ocean.


subject and document type filters


You can do a new search by clicking on one of the Subject terms. Subject terms are labels the database uses to describe what an article is about. Keywords are your choice. Subject terms are set by the database. You are not limited to one or the other; you can use both Subject terms and keywords in yours searches. The number in parentheses indicates the number of results you will find if you add that Subject term to your search by clicking on it. 

Document type will limit results to types of articles. It is especially helpful if you want to exclude document types such as book reviews or brief articles.