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Information Literacy  

Information Literacy guide for students and faculty of Lehigh Carbon Community College.
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2017 URL: http://infoguides.lccc.edu/infolitguide Print Guide RSS Updates

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VIDEO TUTORIAL

 

CREATING SEARCH TERMS (KEYWORDS)

To find good results in a database, it is extremely important to select good search terms, also referred to as keywords, descriptors, or subjects.

Unless you indicate something else, most databases will look for your search terms in the documents' citations and abstracts.

Remember:

  • Take your research topic statement and select significant words.
  • Consider including synonyms or related words.
  • Generally, select nouns.

Determine your connectors (also referred to as logical operators, search operators, boolean terms), when appropriate:

  • treatment and children [results will contain: all documents containing the words treatment and children]
  • treatment or children [results will contain: all documents containing treatment or chidlren or both terms]
  • treatment and children and (asthma or bronchitis) [results will contain: treatment and children and either asthma orbronchitis]
 

DATABASES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

WHAT ARE DATABASES? 

  • A collection of information, such as periodical articles, that is searchable.
  • Results will include materials that match the words and conditions you specify
  • Most of our library's online databases are paid subscriptions; therefore, they are not part of the free World Wide Web.
  • Most often, the database provides the full text of an article or other type of a document, however:
    • For some, they provide only citations
    • For some, they provide a citation and an abstract
  • To access a database, go to the Library Home Pageclick Start Your Research and then click on Databases A-Z.
  • Please note the clickable Database Description links located at the top of the database list.
  • Off-campus, their use is limited to LCCC students and employees. You will be asked for your L number.
 

WHAT NOT TO DO

Don't Use:

  • commas or periods
  • redundant search terms (e.g., alcohol and alcoholism)
  • very common multiple word terms written as individual terms (e.g., illegal and immigration instead of illegal immigration)
  • terms missing a connector (e.g., children, divorce)
  • quotation marks around everything
  • quotation marks around your connector
  • EBSCO and ProQuest use a *. Some databases use a + or ! instead of a *
  • Look for the Help screen or ask a librarian to help you design more complex searches
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