Quick Tips & Shortcuts for Database Searching
Searching by Subject
What is the difference between a keyword and a subject heading?
Let's say you're in the grocery store, and you're there to get noodles of some kind. Spaghetti is the most common, so you look for a sign that says "spaghetti," but you can't find it. Why can't you find that sign? Because the sign you want says "Pasta" and includes not only spaghetti, but manicotti, macaroni, lasagna, penne, orzo and more.
In this example, Spaghetti is a keyword. Pasta is a subject heading.
If you were to search for spaghetti as a keyword, you might find yourself looking at Spaghetti Westerns on your search screen. Is that what you wanted to find?
Searching for pasta as a subject heading would include the type of spaghetti you want, as well as other types of pasta.
Library Databases are organized by subject heading. Google is not!
Find Articles and More...
The following links lead you to our online databases, which contain articles, books, podcasts, videos, and more. Also, check out our individual subject guides for more detailed information related to your field of study.
NOTE: To access these databases remotely, you must be logged in to your Portal account! If you are not logged in, clicking on one of these icons will take you to the portal login screen.
PLEASE NOTE! YOU WILL SEE THAT THE DIRECT LINK FOR EBRARY IS NO LONGER HERE. WE STILL HAVE ACCESS TO EBRARY (ALSO KNOWN AS EBOOK CENTRAL) THROUGH THE LIRN DATABASE.
Boolean Operators Explained
Using Boolean Operators: AND, OR, NOT
AND – use this to narrow your search results. Typing in the terms anorexia AND bulimia will retrieve articles that have both of those terms.
OR – use this to expand your search results. Typing in cats OR dogs will retrieve articles that have at least one of the terms. Also, use this if there might be different ways to enter a term: IBM OR “International Business Machines” or Canine OR Dog
NOT - Use this to exclude certain terms. For example drugs NOT abuse will yield results that include drug information but not drug abuse information.
asterisk (*) - use the asterisk to find all forms of a search term. For example the search term book* will find books, booked, booker, booking, bookkeeper etc..
quotation marks – use quotation marks to search for exact phrase. For example the database will recognize “study skills” as words linked together instead of apart.