3. Effective Database Searches

Wrapping Up

Finding full-text articles. If your database doesn't offer full text, go to the tutorial on Finding Articles for more information. You can usually get the full text; it may just take a few extra steps.

Don't hesitate to consult the database's Help menu! You can find valuable information here on how best to build a search in that particular database. It will tell you which wildcard symbols, Boolean operators, limits, and so on are used in that database.

Not all databases are created equal! Try your search in different databases. One might provide more coverage in your subject area, another might cater to your specific audience, and another might simply have a more comfortable interface!

If you get too many articles... Limit by date, limit by the type of article (peer-reviewed/refereed), and/or enter more keywords using AND.

If you get too few articles... Use wildcards, remove keywords to make the search less specific, or enter other similar terms using OR.

You may want to see our Top 10 Search Tips for some more ideas.

Once you understand the basics, you can search any database effectively!

End of “Effective Database Searches”

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