Library databases are some of the most powerful tools you have available for finding information. We have hundreds of databases to choose from, but maybe we should start by trying to visualize what a library database is.
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Here are some basic searching tips to use when searching a library database. Ask a librarian for more help if you are not finding the type of information you need about your topic.
1. Keywords, Broader terms, Narrower terms
Use a variety of keywords to describe your topic. If you begin your research by using reference materials such as encyclopedias, you will often run across vocabulary to describe your topic that you may not have thought of on your own. Use this worksheet to help you brainstorm: http://bit.ly/research-topic-worksheet
Academic Search Elite is a broad, interdisciplinary database that covers a wide range of subjects. It includes a mix of scholarly articles, popular publications, and a little bit of newspaper coverage. It’s an excellent starting point for the kind of research you will need to do in college courses. Academic Search Elite is one of many databases that our library subscribes to from EBSCOhost. If you learn this database well you'll be able to search many other databases with ease.
To search, enter keywords in the search boxes at the top of the page.
TIP: Use AND/OR to link search terms. (Boolean logic)
Use * at the end of root words to search for all various endings of that root word, often expanding the number of results you will get. (Truncation)
There are options to limit results to scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals, articles published within a certain date range, etc.
For many articles, you will see a link to full-text (the whole article), either in HTML or PDF format.
For other articles, the full-text will not be available in this database. Never fear! Use the UILink button to track down practically any article you need!
The UILink tool searches behind the scenes in many of our library databases to see if we have access to the article. If we do have access, you will see a message that says “Full text available via” and then a link to another database. Click that link and voilà! The article! Easy!
If we don’t have online access to the article, you’ll see a link to our Interlibrary Loan / Document Delivery services. Login to request the article from another library. It will arrive electronically within 24‐48 hours, for free!
Here's an example of a scholarly article citation and a sample of the full-text of the scholarly article. Notice the length of the article. If you use information from an article for your research project, be sure to write down the citation information (author, title, journal name, volume, issue, page number) so you can accurately cite your sources. Click on the title of any article for the complete record, including subject terms and an abstract (summary).
Here's an example of a citation that comes from a magazine and a sample of the full-text of the magazine article.
Printing, Emailing & Citing
Once you find a useful article, Academic Search Elite lets you to work with it in a bunch of ways (see bar on the right hand side of item page):