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WRI 1100: Beers

WRI 1100:Beers


Decide which databases to use to find primary and secondary resources

Research STEP 4: Decide which database to use for articles and keyword searches

Get out your list of types of resources and your arsenal of keywords from Research Step 2

  • use 1 or two of your descriptive keywords or keyword phrases to search for articles. 
  • the picture below shows an example of an advanced search in the ERIC database.
  • when searching in databases, you cannot type in a whole sentence. Use descriptive keywords or phrases that reflect the content of your research.
  • Note I put the 2 phrases on 2 different lines. This is called Boolean searching, which is a logical way to search. The search below is asking the search engine to return every article that has phrase "digital devices" AND the phrase "reading" in it. 

Eric search using terms digital devices AND reading

  • Boolean operators are:
    • AND - limits your search to those items all the terms in it
    • OR - expands your search to those items with either of the terms in it. This usually returns A LOT of items, sometimes too many.
    • NOT - limits your search to those items with your terms but not another term
    • " " marks asks the search engine to keep your terms together. For example, "digital devices."
    • *  using an asterisk is called truncation - asks the search engine to give you items with all forms of a word. For example, typing the word teach* (the * goes at the end of the route of the word) asks the search engine to return items with all forms of the word teach, such as, teacher, teaching, teach, teaches.

VIDEOS on Finding quality articles in databases 10-12 minutes each

Learning outcomes: by the end of these 2 screencasts, you will:

  • know how to find education focused subject guides
  • apply database search strategies modeled to:
    • narrow your search
    • perform concept searches versus keyword searches
    • search in a more sophisticated manner
    • be able to identify quality academic articles
    • know the steps to finding the full text of an article