Library databases give an access to a vast amount of materials published in books, journals, newspapers and different specialist collections. Have you ever experienced any difficulties with searching in the library database? If so, the following search tips can help you to make search easier for you and explain the basic rules of search.
1. Search by keywords
At first, when you got the topic to write a paper, identify its key concepts and terms related to it. You may use these search engine keywords when searching in the database using subject headings. When searching in the electronic databases you cannot get any satisfactory results if you type the whole sentence, for example, “Weather Idioms in English language”.
Within each topic, you will have to determine appropriate keywords and phrases, including synonyms, broader, related and narrower terms. The results of a keyword search will also appear at the bottom of the article or in the citation, so you can easily expand the list of your keywords. Also, if you are looking for books, use broader terms than when searching for articles.
Another tip on search in the electronic databases for journal articles concerns use of such conjunction as AND. Combine the key concepts that are related to your topic. For example, weather and idioms, weather and phraseological units, etc.
Also, another important way to search in the database or on the internet is by use truncation (an asterisk). This sometimes doesn’t works in some of the databases but these exceptions are a few. For example, global* brings up items with the keywords globalization or globalisation, globalized and other.
If you want to know more useful search tips, please read the other tips.