Canadian Periodicals Index Quarterly (CPIQ)

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By Ken Fox

The CPIQ is a quarterly index of Canadian journals, magazines, and newspapers, with a vast store of pertinent online content going back at least to the 1980s. The list of “Content Types” indicates 974 magazines, 237 academic journals, and 1507 news sources.

The CPIQ can be accessed through the e-Resources page of any public library site in Saskatchewan, provided you have a public library card. If you don’t have a public library card, do yourself a favour and get one (it’s easy). For more detail on accessing e-Resources from public library websites, see my earlier post titled How to Access Lots of Great (Non-legal) Databases with your Public Library Card.

For regional libraries, the Canadian Periodicals Index Quarterly (CPIQ) can generally be found under “Newspapers and Magazines.”

For Saskatoon Public Library users, it’s slightly trickier. From the Digital Media page, scroll down to the list of “Digital Media Resources” – and select Research, the 2nd item from the bottom. From there, click on the “Subject” tab, and then select “Newspapers & Journals” and find the link to the CPIQ. There are other ways to access the CPIQ through the SPL site, but that’s how I got there today.

Regina Public Library users can begin at the page that is called E-Library Services on the link from the home page, and is called “E-Resources, E-Books, eAudiobooks, & Digital Magazines” on the page itself. Under the list of “Categories” select Newspapers and find CPIQ in the list of databases provided.

The quarterly index includes a combination of full-text articles and article citations. It is a Gale database, which means it can be searched alongside other Gale databases licensed by the Provincial Library’s Multitype Database Licensing Program (MDLP) – click on “Gale Databases” at the top right of the screen to see a full list and broaden your search.

You can do a Basic Search (the default), or use the drop-down menu to the right of the search box to search by Subject, Publication, or Entire Document (fulltext search).

Today I will attempt to find articles on The Headstones, who played a concert in Saskatoon last weekend. Beginning with a Basic Search of just “Headstones,” there are 974 magazine hits, arranged from newest to oldest. Not surprisingly, the articles exhibit a wide range of subject areas, and very few concern the band. The results display defaults to magazines, but at the top of the right-hand panel there is a list of Content Types to choose from: Academic Journals (237), Books (12), News (1,507), Images (6), and Videos (2).

How can I narrow the results to articles concerning the Kingston quartet known for their hard-driving rock music and cryptic, death-obsessed lyrics?

If you click on the “More” tab, an additional row of tabs appears, including “Help” – which includes, near the bottom of the page, Search Tips. The simplest way to narrow my search is to add a second term, with the help of the AND operator – such as the name of the most famous member of the band, singer Hugh Dillon. So now I am searching for:

Headstones AND “Hugh Dillon”

This search nets 18 magazine articles, some focusing on the band, others merely mentioning them, and a few looking at Dillon’s acting career. Other possibilities to narrow the results might be searching for the band name with the title of a Headstones album, or a musical genre, or other terms associated with music (rock, album, concert, song, etc.). Magazines represented in the results include MacLean’s, Canadian Musician, Toronto Life, Chart Magazine, and This. Under Content Types, there are also 3 “books” (1 an article on Dillon from a biographical encyclopedia) and 29 newspaper articles. The articles go back to the early 1990s, but experimenting with a broader search (“Beatles”) I found that there are also many articles from the 1980s indexed.

There are three ways to sort results using the drop-down menu at the top of the results list – from newest, from oldest, or by relevance. Relevance is a good sort to use if you have a high number of results and cannot filter them using search terms. For this search, I prefer to arrange the results from newest to oldest.

For more complex searches, there is an “Advanced” search tab that allows you to use multiple searching “rows” and apply a separate search field (e.g., author, abstract, keyword, publication date) to each. As well, the lower part of the Advanced Search screen allows additional filtering options, such as limiting results to full text documents, peer reviewed journals, specified date ranges, publication titles, and subject headings.

Once the results are displayed, there are also filters to the right side of the results list, so you can further limit results by Content Type (Magazines, News, Books, Academic Journals), date range, Subjects, Document Type (e.g., Articles, Book Reviews), or Publication Title.

Once a full-text document is loaded, you can read it on your screen, download, print, or create a formatted citation, using the “Tools” menu in the right-hand pane.

So there are many ways to manage your searches and results in the CPIQ.

One of the quirks of searching the CPIQ is the mix of full-text documents and article citations in the results. The Help page does not supply any information on which parts of the record the “Basic Search” and keyword search draw from, but the results seem to weigh the full-text articles and citations to print sources about equally. So if you are a serious researcher looking to go beyond what is available in full text, feel free to try the Basic Search or apply keywords to an Advanced Search. And if you are a casual searcher just looking for a quick read on this or that topic, you’ll find that the CPIQ is LOADED with interesting full-text articles.
(Databases provided by public libraries in Saskatchewan #2. Read the rest of this series: #1 |#3)

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