Trocaire College Libraries

What is the SIRS Issues Researcher Database Guide?

This guide will show you how to use SIRS Issues Researcher to find journal articles for your assignments. Many of the things you learn from this guide can be used in our other library databases.

You will be given search strategies, and other helpful hints, for searching SIRS Issues Researcher before starting your own searching.

Why databases?

The best way to find journal articles for your assignments is to use the Library's databases.

While just Googling is quicker, you cannot always verify the accuracy of a website...or worse, you may be asked to pay $$ for limited use of an article you find online that you could be getting free from the library!

Finding SIRS Issues Researcher

To find SIRS Issues Researcher on our website, click on the toolbar and select Research, from the drop-down menu select Resouces and then click on the Library Resources and Databases.

Here you will find a listing of the databases A-Z and also Library Resources by Subject. You can scroll down the screen until you reach SIRS Issues Researcher.

Click here to access SIRS Issues Researcher to access the database and start your search journey.

If you are off-campus, you will need to login with your Trocaire network ID and password.

What is SIRS Issues Researcher?

SIRS Issues Researcher deals primarily with current events, thus it does not contain scholarly journal articles.

If your assignment requires using scholarly journals, SIRS Issues Researcher is not the database for you.

If you do not have that requirement, or just want to get more background on a current event or social issue, SIRS Issues Researcher is a great place to find information.

Most of the information contained in SIRS Issues Researcher is considered "popular" resources such as magazines, newspapers and blogs. As these are popular sources, and not peer-reviewed journal articles, you must evaluate the information to decide if it is appropriate for your topic and your paper.

Searching SIRS Issues Researcher: Image Tiles

There are multiple places to begin your research in SIRS Issues Researcher. Click on a Image tile to get started.

  • Trending Topics - information on topics in today's news. The trending issues section changes with the news cycle.
  • Editor's Picks - selected topics.
  • Need Help in Choosing a Topic?- click on any of the general topic tiles and it will lead you to a selection of sub-topics.

Image Tiles Overview Pages

When you click on an Image tile SIRS Issues Researcher displays an overview page of the topic.The overview page consists of:

  • Summary of the topic- short summary of the topic.
  • Viewpoints- Pros and Cons of the topic. Two Viewpoints are provided for students to see evidence supporting the beliefs of each opinion. Various sources supporting these viewpoints are available to browse under the "Find more sources" .
  • Critical Questions- gives several questions on the topic to help you think deeply about it.
  • Timeline- shows the history of the topic.
  • Related topics
  • Research Guide- gives you a form to guide you through the research process.

Searching SIRS Issues Researcher: Keywords

Type in a Keyword that describes your topic in the search bar at the top of the page.

To limit the number of results of your Keyword search:

  • Click on Advanced Search and limit your search to dates, and types of sources.
  • Add more keywords to the search statement


Keywords are the words you enter into a database or search engine to find information on a topic. You only want to use the main points of the topic as your keywords.

Keywords are critical for effective database searching. They...

  • help you focus on a topic.
  • help you focus your research.
  • eliminate extraneous articles.
  • are better for Internet searching too.

Keyword Tips

Now some quick search tips when using SIRS Issues Researcher or our other databases:

  • Use academic or professional language when you are conducting research in order to find the most scholarly materials on your topic.
  • Avoid unnecessary words like effect, affect, study, research or journal when searching library databases.
  • Put quotation marks around your words to search as an exact phrase
    • climate change
  • Use an asterisk to search for words with similar endings.
    • teen* would find teen, teens, teenage, teenager, teenaged.
  • Use a question mark or hashtag symbol to search for similarly spelled words at the same time
    • woman and women (wom#n, wom?n).
    • Databases tend to use the question mark; search engines the hashtag symbol.

Keyword Search Tips

  • Use AND to combine your main keywords together. This happens automatically in search engines.
    • “Lake Erie” AND “climate change”.
  • Use OR in databases and web searching to search for two words that can be used interchangeably.
    • neonate OR infant OR newborn
  • Use NOT to eliminate a word or topic from your search.
    • vaccines NOT autism

Articles in SIRS Issues Researcher

When you find an article you are interested in, click on the title to open it.

There are several tools to help you do more with your article.

  • Translate this article - English into another language
  • Listen - audio version that can also be downloaded

The most commonly used tools are:

  • Save to Google Drive - if you have a Gmail account, you have a Drive account
  • Print
  • Email
  • Cite (APA, MLA)

If you choose to cite using SIRS Issues Researcher make sure to double check your citation against a trusted resource like our Citation Help page to make sure it is properly formatted.

Any questions, ask a librarian!

Updated August 2020