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ScienceDirect: Quick Start Guide: Quick Search

A quick start guide to using the ScienceDirect subscription database, available to VDOT employees through the VDOT Research Library.

Quick Searches In ScienceDirect

Elsevier calls the simple search a "Quick Search."  See this Tutorial on Quick Searches for more tips on doing an effective Quick Search.

Quick Searches

A quick search of common "fields" can be performed from the search box at the top of the main screen:

Simple search screen.

1. The quick search option features the following fields: Keywords, Author name, Journal/book title, Volume, Issue, Page. 
2. Optionally, users can select "Advanced Search" to conduct more complex searches. 


An even simpler search box appears on all search results screens (where you can also search). It looks like this: 

Even simpler simple search screen.

1. Type in desired terms and click the search button.
2. Or select "Advanced Search" to show more search fields (discussed in the next section).

The example below shows what happens when you do a simple search on the term "geosynthetics" from either quick search screen:

Screen capture showing simple search results from ScienceDirect.

1. First, the system lists suggested publications on the general topic.
2. On the lower left, search filters appear, allowing you to refine (narrow) the search based on year, article type or other variables.
3. The main part of the screen displays brief search "results" with key search terms highlighted in yellow. 

When you click on the title the full citation, including an abstract, is displayed.  We recommend the following steps:

1. First, carefully review the citation to be sure the item matches your specific needs.
2. If you decide to continue select "Get Access" to initiate the process of getting the full text. 

A typical ScienceDirect citation.

If you are not signed in you will be prompted to do so at this time. If you are signed in (you should see your name next to the VDOT logo), you can proceed to an online form that will send your request to the library to fulfill.


Do You Use a Lot of ScienceDirect Articles?

If so and you are willing to download in responsible quantities, the library can change your account from Regular Access to Self-Service Access. The companion guide ScienceDirect: Finding Full Text explains the difference between the two accounts.

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