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Health Physics and Radiation Science

Why Use Articles?

Use articles for:

  • more current information
  • original research and scholarly information
  • information on a niche, specialized topic


  • usually have reference lists to point you to other relevant information
  • often scholarly and reputable in nature


  • not always up to date
  • specialized language can be hard to understand


Articles are published in journals, which are collected in databases. Although most databases contain journal articles, they may also contain things such as magazine/newspaper articles, technical papers, book chapters, conference proceedings, and patent information.

Generating Keywords

Keywords are the core of your research idea. To generate them, think of the perfect article you'd like to find: what words would appear in there? Keywords can be a theory (structural engineering theory), an event (Three Mile Island), an example (Cold War as an example of nuclear proliferation), a phrase ("female engineers"), a proper name (Fukushima Daiichi), or a concept (digital divide).

Remember that keywords don't have to be one word. You can use multiple keywords to search for the same idea. Be creative!

Creating Your Search

Once you have selected some keywords, you can combine them with Boolean operators. Catalogues and databases respond to this type of logic. 

to narrow online AND privacy
to broaden internet OR online
to limit NOT email


to search for a phrase "privacy settings" ...only retrieves the two words together
for alternate spellings e?mail ...retrieves e-mail or email
 or. for different word endings  protect* ...retrieves protect, protection, protected, etc. 


What Is Peer-Review?

Think of peer-review as a "stamp of approval" from experts in a particular academic field.

When an article is submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, a group of experts read that article and then provide feedback and suggestions. The author then makes any necessary revisions before submitting it again, where it is subjected to the same process. These rigorous "back and forth" efforts means that that article is throughly checked for biases, factual/procedural errors, and completeness. Peer review is an important part of scholarly work, because it ensures that scholarship is done well and in accordance with the established standards in a discipline.

Major Databases in Health Physics and Radiation Science

Some of these databases only have citations of articles and not the full-text. To gain access to articles Ontario Tech doesn't subscribe to, you can use the Interlibrary Loan service.

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