Tips on searching databases
This page will give you tips on how to do database searching.
Search for Articles
Choose keywords that represent the important ideas you want the articles to contain. Given the topic the effect of television violence on children, you might choose television, violence and children as your keywords.
For more information, see Developing a Search Strategy.
Combine Keywords Using AND and OR (Boolean Operators) to Refine Your Search
Tell the database how to combine your keywords using Boolean operators.
- If you want all of the keywords to appear in every article, put AND between them in the search box. Example: television AND violence AND children
- To have the database search for articles where either of two terms appears, put OR between the terms in the search box. Example: teenagers OR adolescents
For more information, see Boolean Searching and Truncation.
Refine Your Search Using Limits and Field-Specific Searches
There are two options for refining your search beyond specifying keywords.
- Field-specific searches: the database looks for a keyword in only a specific field, such as author, title, abstract, or publication title. Look for a field drop-down box next to the search box.
- Limiters: additional fields that appear on the search page such as scholarly (or peer-reviewed), date of publication, and article type. For example, you can select the scholarly limiter and the database returns only scholarly articles.
Printing and Saving Articles in PDF Format
If you are viewing an article in PDF format, use the print and save icons in the Adobe Reader frame. Do not use File > Print, File > Save, Ctrl+P, or Ctrl+S because these commands cause the file to print or save incorrectly.