Before you start your search, write your research question and underline the keywords that are the main concepts of your question.
For example: How does violence in the media affect young children?
The databases search keywords and phrases, searching a question will not return many results.
Search something like this: violence AND media AND children
Below is information about the following search techniques:
Narrows your search results
Tells database ALL search words must be present in records
Example: child AND vaccination
Connects two or more similar concepts (synonyms)
Broadens results, tells database ANY search words can be present in records
Example: vaccination OR immunization
*Remember OR means more*
Excludes terms from your search
Narrows search results, tells database to ignore concepts that may be included in records
Example: vaccination NOT polio
Common fields to search in databases include:
|Author||Try searching the author's name. Often authors may write more than one article about the same topic.|
Type in words that you want to appear in the titles of your search results. By limiting a word to the Title Field, your search results will be very focused. (Pro tip: If the word is in the title, it is probably a major focus of the article!)
|Subject||Limit your search results to records that have been assigned a specific subject heading. Subject headings are preferred terms used in a database to describe a concept.|
|Source / Journal||Know the title of a newspaper, magazine or journal you would like to use? Search within a specific publication.|
Search terms will appear in the article title:
*Try searching in the article title when searching for newspaper articles.*
Search terms will appear as subject tags for article:
Search terms will appear in the publication title: