Q. How do I research something before I buy it?


One easy way is to find product reviews, evaluations, and ratings in magazines. The Alabama Virtual Library provides databases with full-text magazine and newspaper articles free of charge to all residents in the state of Alabama. If you have trouble accessing the AVL, visit your local public library for a username and password.

A good database to try first is MasterFILE Premier.

Once in the database, search by keyword for your topic. The fewer words the better.


  • refrigerators evaluations
  • refrigerators ratings
  • refrigerators comparisons
  • refrigerators reviews

You can also limit your search just to Consumer Reports articles if you put "Consumer Reports" in the box labeled "Publication" on the search screen.

Click the "Search" button when you are finished entering your search criteria.

The default order for results is by "Relevance." You can change that to "Date Descending" if you want the most recent articles at the top of the list.

Once you have found an article you like, you may read it online, download it, or e-mail it to yourself.


  • Last Updated Jan 09, 2019
  • Views 77
  • Answered By Department Reference & Adult Services

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