Electronic Databases

General Reference Center Gold

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General Reference Center Gold indexes articles from more than 1600 general interest magazines, reference books, national newspapers and news services. The database covers 1980 through the current date, and identifies magazine or newspaper articles on a wide range of topics from business and industry, health, science, arts and entertainment, and education. The database is updated daily, making this an excellent source for current information. Many full-text articles are available, as well as full-text entries from reference books, and other sources.


To begin a basic search, choose Subject guide or Keyword search from the options on the left side of the screen. Type your search term in the entry box and click on the Search button. If your search results in too many matches, you can go back to the first screen and select one of the Limit Search options displayed. You will be able to narrow your results by date, by journal name or to articles with full-text only.

If your subject search matches an entry in the database subject guide, you will see a list of topics and subtopics to review. You will also have a choice of formats, which include encyclopedia articles, newspaper references, periodical references, etc. If no matches exist in the subject guide, General Reference Center Gold will automatically try a keyword search. Keyword searching will match words you typed to words that appear in article titles or abstracts. Keyword searching is especially useful in combining terms to narrow the focus of the search.

The Dictionary found on the left side of the search screen is another useful feature of this database. It shows the pronunciation, part of speech, definition and when the word was first used.

Advanced Searching

An advanced search offers more options for searching. Searches include subject, keyword, titles, authors, journal names, sources and dates. Begin by highlighting the type of search from the search index and then type the search word or phrase into the search box. Consult the help section as needed to do advanced searching using more sophisticated techniques involving Search Operators and Search Expressions.

The General Reference Center Gold is available through MINITEX or your local Minnesota public library or Minnesota school media center.

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This page was written by Mark Ranum in February, 2003.
This page was last updated on September 22, 2003.