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Research Guides

STA303 / STA1002: Data Analysis II


This guide will show you how to use the Scopus database, with an example of a suitable article for your assignment. Scopus is a database which contains many abstracts and citations of peer-reviewed literature, covering subject areas such as biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine, physics, and other interdisciplinary studies.

To begin your research, start at the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) homepage. Here, you will have access to many features which UTL offers but for the purpose of your assignment, navigate to the Databases By Title in order to see all the databases available to you. 

On this page, find Scopus.  You can browse the list of subjects on this page. 

When ready, click on the link to Scopus which will take you to the website where you can conduct a Document Search. Please note that on this website, when you hover over anything you can click on, the buttons will turn from blue to orange to indicate your options.

In the Search field, type "University of Toronto" (quotations are not necessary). You will want to narrow your search by selecting "Affiliation name" from the drop-down list to the right of the Search field. This will search for the words 'university', 'of', and 'Toronto' in the appropriate field of each document on Scopus.

To narrow your search further, click on the [+] to add a second Search field. 

"And" auto-populates although you have the option of selecting from the drop-down list ("and", "or", "and not"). For this assignment, you can use "and". You will then type in your search terms into the Search field. "Article title, Abstract, Keywords" can remain as the selected field.

The assignment requires you to find an article published recently. Therefore, you will want to limit your search in this aspect as well. This can be done by selecting > Limit and typing "2015" in the Data Range (inclusive): Published ... to ... Leave "Present" as it is. This way, you will find any articles that have been published from 2015 to the present which match with your other search requirements.



Now that your search has been set up, click the big button that says Search with the magnifying glass at the bottom right of the page. Your search results will appear on a new tab. However, you will want to narrow your search to a more manageable selection. Therefore, to the left of the results under Refine results select Subject area, and then View more. This will bring you to a variety of options, where you can select one that interests you. This will also make it easier for you find a suitable article, since the results will not be as overwhelming.

Once you have selected a subject area, scroll down to see the other options for Refine results. One area to check is Affiliation. If you click on this you will see that there are results from other universities and institution with similar keywords to 'university', 'of', and 'Toronto'. To avoid finding an article with the wrong affiliation for your assignment, select "University of Toronto" as your affiliation. Now, click Limit To from the bottom of the left-hand menu. This will refresh the page with your selected fields.

From your results, scan the titles of the articles until you find one that suits your needs. Click Full text to navigate to the article itself. 

Clicking the link will open a new tab, although sometimes the webpage might not have the information you are looking for (for this assignment, a link to the article). Sometimes U of T does not have a subscription to that particular journal (even though we have access to the abstract and citation through Scopus). If this is the case, simply close the tab and return to the Scopus search results to find another suitable article. Each journal or publisher website will look slightly different.

In this example here, we have access to the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques through the publisher, Gale Cengage Learning. You can find the citation of this source in several locations on this page (1 and 2). You can also download a full-text version of the article as a PDF (3); navigate to the journal website (4); and find the article on the journal website (5). From the journal website, you can obtain a link directly to the article. The article is available in full-text on the journal website as well. From the full-text article, you can confirm the affiliation of the authors listed on the first page of the document.

As mentioned above, each publisher and journal website will have this information arranged differently, so play around in different websites to understand how each website works.

Guide compiled by: I. Clara Luca
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