Stick to Databases
By searching through the library’s subscription databases and limiting your search to scholarly or peer-reviewed journals, you can be confident that all the materials retrieved will be legitimate sources for your research paper.
Choosing a Database
The Benedictine Library groups databases by broad subject heading. In addition, each database has a description of the subjects covered. Every database has HELP pages if you need them.
Database Coverage and Interlibrary Loan
- Full Text: Database offers the complete article
- Partial Full Text: Has some full text and some abstracts
- Abstracts only: Contains abstracts only. However articles may be requested throughInterlibrary Loan.
- Find Full Text Button: Allows you to link to article from another database. For example: If Ovid has the abstract of the article and Science Direct carries the Full Text, clicking on the Find Full Text button will provide you the bridge link to the Science Direct Database.
Use the Advanced Search
By using the Advanced Search feature you can combine concepts to produce a more in-depth search. Advanced search also lets you choose to search a field: Author, Title, Publication Title or Subject.
Search by Phrase
Use quotation marks “ “ to enclose a commonly used phrase. This will force the database to search those terms as one phrase. For example: “Fran Lloyd Wright” will look for the architect. Frank Lloyd Wright will bring up articles that have any of those words in them.
Used to connect and define the relationship between your search terms. When searching electronic databases, you can use Boolean operators to either narrow or broaden your record sets. The three Boolean operators are AND, OR and NOT.
- Use AND to narrow your search: all of your search terms will present in the retrieved records.
- Example: Online courses AND academic performance
- Use OR to broaden your search by connecting two or more synonyms.
- The database retrieves all the unique records containing one term, the other, or both.
- Example: online courses OR Web-based instruction OR distance education
- Use NOT to exclude term(s) from your search results.
- Example: higher education NOT community colleges
Many databases use vocabulary that is specific to the subject being covered. This vocabulary is often listed under Subject or Thesaurus. The purpose of controlled vocabulary is to give precise terminology to make database searching more effective and efficient. By entering search terms from the Subject or Thesaurus gives the user precise results. This is often more effective than searching by keyword.