Academic database searching

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  • 1. Academic Database Searching
    How to find articles using the library databases
  • 2. Identifying Keywords
    Before you begin searching in a library database, determine what keywords you will use.
    Make a list of common keywords for your topic
  • 3. Truncation
    For some keywords, it may be a good idea to truncate, or cut off the last part, and include all variations of the word
  • 4. For example:
    Work* will give all the words that begin with work such as: worker, work, working, workforce, workplace etc.
    You can also use a ? As a wildcard, wo?k
  • 5. Be careful using truncation though. If you truncate a word such at cat* when you wanted cats. You will end up with all kinds of other words such as catalog, cataclysm, catacomb, etc.
    Truncation will also give you more results and may be a good idea when you are searching a keyword that is less common or when you need articles with more than one combination of a word such as
    Wom?nwhich will give you woman, or women.
  • 6. Be careful though, because you can end up with too many results.
  • 7. Boolean Operators
    Booleans are used to combine search terms.
    The words and, or, not are booleans.
    You may need to use these to generate more specific results.
  • 8. For example: illegal immigration not Mexico would give you only results that do not talk about Mexico.
    immigration and Mexico would give you only results that talk about Mexico.