Library Databases

Searching Databases

Databases work best with keywords of your search rather than natural language processing, or typing full sentences or natural language into the search bar. Google handles natural language searching well, but library databases and catalogs require structured keywords. It’s best to avoid words that describe the relationship between two concepts like effect, effects, impacts, influence, consequence, cause, interaction, etc. It’s also good to avoid words that imply an argument like pros, cons, advantages, disadvantages, etc.

From a database, you can use keywords to search, and synonyms with your keywords. You will usually get less results than a Google search, with many scholarly options. Databases also give you more options than Google (and even Google Scholar) for filters including source type (peer review), dates, and more. Abstracts, or quick summaries of a scholarly article, can help you understand whether you should use a resource from a database.  Permalinks are important to save the materials you find. 

Please watch this video on finding articles in academic databases:

Quick Check

Previous Next