Answered By: Spalding Library
Last Updated: Nov 14, 2016     Views: 203

Visit the "Databases A-Z" list to find the database that you are looking for. If you don't know the specific database that you need, you can also filter this list by subject. Academic Search Complete is a good general-purpose database. 

Once you are in the database, there will be a few different ways to search - however, not all databases are alike, and these are just general tips. Usually there will be options to search by Author, Title, and Subject, but depending on the database there may be many more options. Just enter your search terms (the words or phrases you are looking for) and choose the option that you would like to search. If you are doing a general search, most databases will allow you to do a keyword search, which will search everything. 

You can usually search for a few different things at once using boolean operators AND and OR.

Using AND will only give you results that have both search options. For example, searching for education AND income would give you results that had both of these subjects. This will usually give you fewer results, which is helpful if you are finding too many results or your results are too general and you need more specificity.

Using OR will give you results that have at least one of your search options - so education OR income would give you results that had either one. This will usually give you more results, which is helpful if you are not finding enough results. 

There are also often options to limit your search based on criteria that you choose - such as only searching for full-text articles, or articles from a certain range of dates. Using limits will usually give you fewer results. 

The "Searching a Database" video also provides an overview of how to search library databases.

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