Searching Tips: Databases
Searching these resources is different from searching the Internet. K-State Libraries pays to subscribe to the databases; they are not found in an online search.
- Keywords: Break your topic into key concepts; list relevant terminology/keywords and synonyms.
- AND = both concepts must be present, limits the search (Ex. stormwater AND management)
- OR = great for synonyms, expands the search (Ex. "universal design" OR "inclusive design")
- NOT = exclude an unrelated term, limits the search (Ex. "nigel coates" NOT "book review")
- Advanced search: Search fields like journal title, publication date, institution, etc.
- Subject headings: Use the language/terminology of a database by looking for a Thesaurus, Subject Headings, Subjects, Keywords, or Descriptors.
- Truncation: Includes all possible endings: teen* searches for "teen", "teens", "teenager", "teenagers", etc.
- Wildcard: Replaces any character: wom?n searches for "women" or "woman."
- Help: Click help or for database-specific instructions.