Gale Periodical Databases: A Guide to the Basics

What are Gale Periodical Databases?

Gale/Infotrac periodical databases, available to Chemeketa students and staff, primarily consist of articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers. Other types of materials, such as company directory information and pamphlets, may also beincluded. Chemeketa has access to over 30 Gale/Infotrac databases, on a variety of subjects.

Access: You can connect to the Gale databases on the library's database pages at, or by following this link: Connect to Gale.

Basic Searching

Most Gale databases use standard search screens that provide various ways to search. The Advanced Search, or keyword search, is the default search screen. Other search options include Subjects and Publications. The Advanced Search screen gives the user more limiting options and multiple search spaces for complex searches.

Figure 1 - Search Screen

picture of Search Screen

Search Results

Results are listed in chronological order with the newest items at the top of the list in the Results screen (Figure 2). In most cases, results include title, author, date of publication, and a full text link (if available).

Figure 2 - Results Screen

Picture of Gale results screen

Click on a highlighted article title for a description of the article including full citation information and an article summary (abstract) when available.

The pulldown menu marked Sort by lets you change the sorting from publication date to relevance order.

A check box gives the option to mark articles for batch downloading.

Figure 3 - Results Screen Sidebar

picture of sidebar with refining options

The results screen includes options in a sidebar to narrow results in various ways. "Peer-reviewed" journals are academic journals that have been checked by a committee of experts. (They are also called "refereed" journals.)

Content Type lets you click to see articles in different types of publications, such as newspapers or academic journals.

You can also limit by subject, document type, or publication title. Clicking on one of the terms listed under "Subject" (not shown) causes the database to repeat your search, adding the term you clicked as a subject heading. This results in a more focused search.


Clicking on the title of an article brings up more information about the article, including a description and full text, if available. To the right of the title is a display of tools and functions, including printing, downloading, and e-mailing (Figure 4).

To print, e-mail, or save, full text to a disk, first display the full article information on the computer screen by clicking on the title of the article. Next, click once on the appropriate control in the box near the title of the article.

Figure 4 - The Article and Tools 

Picture of article screen with various tools displayed.


There are two methods of printing.

  1. For citations or for full-text articles in HTML text, click the Print Preview link. The program will display the article in the correct format and launch the browser's print operation.
  2. To print full-text articles in PDF format, you must click on the View PDF page link (Fig. 4) to open the file. Your browser will launch the Adobe Reader plugin and open the article in a separate window. When the article has finished downloading, use the Adobe Reader print button (Figure 5, below) to print the article.

Figure 5 - Adobe Reader screen, showing print button (location may differ by Reader version)
picture of Adobe Reader screen showing print button


Click the E-mail link picture of E-mail link. Type your full e-mail address in the spaces provided. Optional: You may fill in a word or phrase to appear in the subject line of your e-mail, and add comments, if desired. Click the Send button Picture of Send button to finish.

Saving to a disk

  1. HTML full text: Put a flash drive in the USB port. Click the Download linkpicture of download link. Select the desired option on the Save Manager screen. Click the Download button picture of Download button. The download will begin.
  2. For full-text articles in PDF format, you must click on the "View PDF Page" link (Fig. 4) to open the file. Your browser will launch the Adobe Reader plugin in a new window. When the article has finished downloading, use the Adobe Reader save button (Fig. 5, above) to save the article.

Subject Searching

By selecting Subject Guide Search (Figure 6) from the top navigation menu, users can search for articles by topic.

Figure 6 - Subject Search Screen Details

Picture of Subject Browsing screen

After typing in your topic, "global warming," for example, in the Browsing search space, you will see a list of subject headings. Depending on your search, you may or may not find your topic listed. If you do not find your topic listed, try other words used to describe the topic.

Clicking Subdivisions will expand the subject screen to show all the subtopics, or more specific aspects, of the term.

You will be able to choose a term from the list. Click the preferred term to view articles.

Advanced Search

The Advanced search page (Figure 8 ) can take the user step by step through more complex searching techniques, such as combining and excluding search terms.

Figure 8 - Search Screen

Picture of Gale advanced search screen

Users can also search different parts of the article by clicking on the pull-down menus to display a list of searchable indexes. Available indexes include Author, Document Title, Subject, and Entire Document. See Boolean Searching ( for more information on how to combine terms using AND, OR and NOT in searching.

Other Search Options

Wildcard symbol: ?

Replaces one character. For example, the search for "wom?n" will find both "woman" and "women."

Truncation symbol: *

Allows the user to search for alternate word endings. For example, the search for "comput*" will find "computer," "computers," "computing," "computation," and "computerized."

To comment or request help, please e-mail Reference or call 503.399.5231.

Address of this page:

Updated: 6 February 2012