Tips for Searching Online Databases
Make sure you have the correct spelling for search terms. Some databases may suggest alternate spellings, but others will not.
Do not type complete sentences or questions as your search. Doing so will often result in few or no search results. Choose a keyword or phrase that describes what you are looking for. Connect keywords and phrases with "AND" or use the advanced search option.
Are there any critical articles of Mark Twain's book titled Huckleberry Finn?
- A search for the above information should look something like:
criticism AND "huckleberry finn"
I need to find an article having to do with psychology.
Since psychology is such a broad topic, you will want to narrow your search. You may need to consult your psychology textbook in order to pinpoint a specific topic to focus on:
- psychology AND alternative medicine
- depression AND treatment
Put quotation marks around distinctive phrases.
Example: "usa patriot act"
Use truncation symbols to expand your search. Truncation allows a database to search for multiple forms of a root word. The symbol for truncation may vary among databases.
Example: creat* will find create, created, creative, creativity, etc.
|Database Name||Truncation Symbol Used|
|PCC Library Catalog||$|
|Academic Search Complete||*|
|Literature Criticism Online||
If you are not finding the information you need:
- try different search terms related to your topic
- use fewer words in your search
- try other databases
- ASK US! A librarian will be happy to help you.