Top 10 Database Tips
9. When you search a database and do not get the results you expect, ask for help. The librarians are here to help you.
8. Start with a keyword search, using words/phrases that describe your topic.
7. Browse the results; choose 2 or 3 that are relevant.
6. Look at the Subject or Descriptor field and note the terms used (write them down).
5. Redo your search using those terms, your results will be more precise than your initial keyword search.
4. Use truncation, enter the root of a word and put the truncation symbol at the end.
genetic* = genetic, genetics, genetically
Truncation symbols may vary by database; common symbols include: *, !, ?, or #.
3.Consider using the date range to limit your search.
2. Use the advanced search features.
1. Use Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT.
Find Tool (CTRL+F on PC) (Command+F on MAC)
Find box will appear. Enter your topic and the text will be highlighted within the web page you are looking at.
When searching for history information on the Web, use the following power words: issue, debate, controversy, problem, solution, recommendation.
Use site:gov or site:org for credible websites. As always, question the author of the website.
Date feature: current date, year, a particular time period (i.e. reformation).
For specific geographic area: add state or country i.e. Hawaii, Britain, France
Top 10 Tips
10. Get specific with quotes (""). Quotes creates a phrase search
9. Search website (site:)
Search for particular a website, or web domain. Use site:gov or edu...
8. Subtract terms you want to exclude (-) Subtract terms you do not want to appear in your results: surfing -hawaii
7. Add terms you want to include (+) The opposite of - would be to use +
6. Use the Advanced Search Page
5. The OR operator
Using the Or operator between words allows you to search for synonyms and spelling variations. The following example will search for "Eddie Aikau or surfing."
4. Specific Document Types:
You can limit your results to certain file types. These file types include PDF, PowerPoint, Word Document and Excel Spreadsheet.
3. Get specific by searching within a url. Use - inurl: or allinurl:
2. Get specific by searching within a title. Use - intitle: or allintitle:
1. Find similar words with tilde (~). If you would like your results to contain similar words or synonyms use the "~" in front of the word. Example: "Surfing " ~professional