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AP U.S. History: Find Online Databases

Database Search Tips

Top 10 Database Tips

10. Use the appropriate database -- for example: eBook Central (books/secondary sources) or JSTOR (journal articles).

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.

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