Searching for articles in Gale Virtual Reference can be a bit challenging. But if you make necessary adjustments, you can discover some rich material for your reports. It's best to start out searching broadly on your topic without including the geographic area. For example, let's start by searching for the phrase "fertility rate."

There are several ways that we can begin to limit the results of our search. By selecting Advance under Content Level, this will allow us to eliminate some of the elementary encyclopedias that are part of this product. You may also want to explore some of the document types. I would suggest using Topic Overview initially.

A third way that can be useful for limiting your search is to select subjects and explore some of those subject tags that are used to describe some of these articles. You'll notice that "fertility rates" is not in this list, however, "fertility" and "human fertility" is. So if I want to identify the 25 articles that are tagged with "human fertility," I'll simply click on this link. And it will show me the 25 articles that are tagged with "human fertility." if I like that term "human fertility," I can redo my search up here and type in "human fertility." And again, do a search, and I come up with 188, and I can walk through the same steps that I did to limit my search by selecting Advanced and Topic Overview. I would encourage you to explore all the other ways that you can limit your search. These steps that I've shown you aren't the only ways that you can limit your search. I mean, you can use any combination to help you find articles.

A useful way to expand your search is to search for your terms in the entire document. You can do this one of two ways. You can either do it in a basic search where it says Entire Document, or you get a little bit more sophisticated by going to the Advanced Search and selecting "fertility rates" and searching for the term "Egypt" by geography anywhere in that document. So when I search, this is looking for the key word "fertility rates" as a phrase and "Egypt" anyplace in that document. Using this strategy, you can discover articles that discuss your geographic area as part of a larger conversation, for example, poverty in Africa.

As you're using this and any other product, it's useful to somehow learn how to track your searches. You can do this by simply going up here to the More and selecting Search History, and you can either copy and paste or write down some of these combinations and search strategies that you have used. And this can be useful in helping you think about where your strategies aren't working as well as communicating with others the things that you have done to search for articles.

Let's go back to our results. I want to quickly look at some of the important features that each article has that you might want to consider. So Opening up this first article, I want to point out that often times, more substantial encyclopedia articles will have more than one page. So in this case, this particular article has four pages. This doesn't mean that a one-page article isn't useful, but oftentimes you can identify what is a substantial article by the number of pages. Likewise, I would like to encourage you to look at the bottom of the article, because oftentimes there's a bibliography pointing you at other resources that may or may not be useful as you begin to explore this topic.

Finally, I want to point out to you some ways that you can begin to evaluate very rudimentary elements of this particular encyclopedia. If you click on the title of this encyclopedia, you'll get some information about the encyclopedia, for instance, who is the publisher, and in the guide, it talked about some of the core publishers-- in this case, Macmillan references-- it's a pretty good publisher, but also, you can click on who the editorial board is, and you may even want to look at who the author of that particular article is that you are reading and/or citing.

In closing, most databases provide some tool that allows you to easily cite the article that you're referencing. In this case, up here on the right-hand side, there's a link called Citation Tools. If you click on that, select APA, it will provide you with the correct citation that you can simply copy and paste into your report. Have fun exploring this resource.