Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gale Databases Tip - Finding Subject Specific Magazines




Do you want to read publications covering a specific topic? Say you are interested in history, baseball, or even cooking magazines, but don't know many titles by name. Thomson Gale PowerSearch offers the ability to find periodicals based on subjects and complete or partial title names. When available in full-text you can read all the articles in a specific issue from page 1 to the last page in order. To Read more click the link that follows this paragraph.


NOTE: Article Update 8/11
Use the "Publication Search" menu table to search by publication subject and this provides additional searching options. Sorry, I was not clear on this when the article was initially posted.

FINDING BY TITLE WORDS
For the presence or absence of a particular periodical use the Publication Search option with the dialog box "enter publication title or part of a title". Just plug in the publication title or title keywords and a presence or absence of the resource will show up in the results.

FINDING PUBLICATIONS BY SUBJECT IN GENERAL
Also, this is important, use the bottom search box labeled

"by publication subject:"

as this is the search box for publications by SUBJECT not TITLE WORDS.

Use language that is more generic. Think beverages instead of coffee or sodas. There are tradeoffs, for example when looking for magazines on subject of "sports"
the title of Astronomy currently comes up as one of the results when I did a search today. The biggest tip I probably could offer is to think in terms of subject headings used in a library catalog or Ibistro. The added advantage of publications by subject is the results. For example, a search on the subject of baseball produces the yearly issues of Nine and National Pastime which could be clearly missed if you are using just the title word of "baseball" in the upper search box. Searching by publication subject is a useful thing! Think of all the magazines that don't have the word cooking or food in the title. Try a publication subject search on "cooking" and you'll get the idea and then by publication title or part of a title and the difference is clearlyvisiblee in the number of results.


BY PUBLICATION SUBJECT
Gale has developed a predefined list of publication subjects such as Baseball, Cooking, or History. This takes the guess work out of finding periodicals by subjects that are included.

BOTTOM LINE
The publication title & title words search works well. Searching by periodical subjects groupings can be tricky and a few titles could be missed such as Sports Illustrated is not listed as a baseball magazine by subject. The search by periodical subject is still a great feature quirks and all!