Select Your Research TopicDictionariesEncyclopediasThesauri (Thesauruses)
Encore Description & Step-By-StepFind & Use eBooksKeywordsFind Books on the Shelves
Important Definitions & LocationsPeriodical CitationsBasic Steps to Search an Online DatabaseEBSCO DatabaseProQuest DatabaseNewspapers
Full-Text Periodicals E & PrintInterlibrary LoanStudents at Carbon, Donley, & Morgan CentersLocal LibrariesSummary
Additional ResourcesExamples of Almanacs & Statistical ResourcesStatistical Abstract of the United StatesExamples of Government SourcesExamples of Professional OrganizationsFind Audiovisual ResourcesConsult with a Librarian
Important TermsThe Internet: DefinitionFacts & AdviceAccess a Web SiteSearch EnginesThe "Invisible Web"Using Wikipedia
Evaluating a Web SiteVERY IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONSDomain NamesWhat Is Its Purpose?Personal Web PagesWho Is Its Author/Producer/Sponsor?Where Did This Web Site Originate?Helpful Web Site
This is the "Basic Steps to Search an Online Database" page of the "ENG 105 Information Research Skills" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

ENG 105 Information Research Skills  

The College English I Workbook is an ENG 105 assignment worth 15% of your grade. This guide contains information from the workbook's eight chapters, minus the self-check questions.
Last Updated: Apr 30, 2014 URL: http://infoguides.lccc.edu/InfoResearch Print Guide RSS Updates

Basic Steps to Search an Online Database Print Page
  Search: 
 
 

Basic Steps to Search an Online Database

 

 

1.        Select the best database:

myLCCC | Check Library Account | Databases A-Z | Database Descriptions or

http://www.lccc.edu/library    | START YOUR RESEARCH HERE | Databases A-Z | Database Descriptions

 2.       Determine your search terms (also known as subjects, descriptors, keywords, indexing terms):

  • Select significant words that are likely to appear in your document.
  • Avoid unnecessary words.
  • Write one or more sentences about your topic and then underline the important words.
  • Example: What kind of treatment is used for children who have asthma or bronchitis?

                                treatment

                                children

                                asthma

                                bronchitis

 

3.       Consider including relevant synonyms or related words in your search:

            asthma     bronchitis     respiratory diseases

 4.       Determine your connectors (a.k.a. logical operators, search operators, boolean terms), if necessary:

            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 children or both terms

       treatment and children and (asthma or bronchitis or respiratory diseases)

                                results will contain:  treatment and children and one or more of: asthma or bronchitis or respiratory disease

 5.       Include special characters (a.k.a. truncation, wild cards), if appropriate:

                child*

                                results will contain: child, child's, children, children's

                disease*

                                results will contain: disease, diseased, diseases

            Some databases use a + or ! instead of a *. Consult their help screens.

 

 6.       Determine your limiters:

  • Search for your term in the full text of the articles or just their citations and abstracts?
  • Search a particular publication title or format? All publications? Only newspapers?
  • Search all dates, a particular date, or a range of dates?

 7.       Conduct your search:

The database will find all documents (either full-text or just abstracts and citations) in its collection that match the criteria you select.

8.       View your results (a.k.a. citation list, browse screen, document list).   

9.       Evaluate your results:

  • Is the document relevant to your topic? Long enough?  Adequately complex?
  • Is it up-to-date, considering the topic? Information to treat a disease should be recent. A recent publication date might not be important for a report about the Revolutionary War.
  • Is it the correct type of publication? Should it be more scholarly? A primary (first hand account)?
  • Should the point-of-view be balanced or do you need someone's opinion?
  • What do you know about the author's credentials? Can you trust the information to be accurate?
  • Should the terms be revised and the search rerun? Can you substitute a synonym or related term?

10.   Print, save, or email your choices. 

 

Description

Loading  Loading...

Tip