The best place to begin your search for credible information sources is the search box on the library's home page. This simple, powerful discovery tool will help you find physical items in our library (e.g. books, DVDs, reference materials) and valuable content from scholarly journals, trade publications, popular magazines, and newspapers.
Using the library's search box allows you to search multiple databases and thousands of journals all at once. But if for some reason you need to search just one database or one journal at a time, the links below can help you do that.
Many relevant sources may also be found by searching larger, less-specialized databases than those listed above. The "Search Everything" option on the library's advanced search page identifies books and ebooks, scholarly journal articles, entries from reference sources (e.g. encyclopedias, almanacs, specialized directories). In addition, try expanding your search by using the resources listed below:
The search terms or keywords you use to search are what determine the results you get. Here's a good exercise to help you generate keywords:
1. Express your topic in a topic sentence or research question: “What is the effect of television violence on children?”
2. Generate keyword search terms by identifying the main ideas or concepts within that topic sentence: “What is the effect of television violence on children?” = Television, Violence, Children. Leave out the small, common words that would be found in hundreds of irrelevant articles, e.g. What, Is, The, Effect, Of, On. Choose keywords that represent the main ideas of your topic.
3. Expand your search terms by brainstorming related terms or synonyms that describe your main ideas:
You can create complex search strategies by combining keywords using the linking words AND, OR and NOT. For example, if your search terms are mathematics AND curriculum:
You can add special symbols called "wildcards" to a search term in order to receive more results. Often times this is used if a you're not familiar with a spelling, a word has multiple spellings, or you're trying to recall specific information. Different search tools, databases, and database providers utilize different wildcard characters, but the asterisk or "star" (*) is one of the most commonly used.
Truncation allows you to search various forms of a word by finding alternate endings. The wildcard character is placed at the end of the first few letters of a search term or at the end of its root. A root is the base or most simplified form of a word.
For example, using the search terms "Indian*" may find information containing "Indian, Indians, Indiana, Indianapolis"
Each database or database provider utilizes different wildcard characters and may have restrictions such as searching no less than 3 letters to achieve results.