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Begin Research: How Do I Search in a Database?

How Do I Search in a Database?

Different databases may look different but they can all be used in similar ways. Go to a database’s Help function for instructions or you can remember to use the helpful hints below:

Hint: These searches aren't just for databases. Many can be done in the HCC Library Catalog AND many more are available in Eagle Library Search!

Click each of the strategies below to see the fields available for searching and for refining your searches.

Search by Keywords

Keyword searches can be a very effective starting point, but you can use other fields when you are looking for known items.
• Author
• Title
• Subjects
• Journal title
• Standard numbers
• And many more fields, depending on the database.

Use Booleans and Truncation To Refine Your Topic

You will learn how in the Expert Searches section!

Use Limits to Refine Your Results

Many databases allow searches to be limited by:
• Publisher
• Date
• Full-text
• Source type
• Scholarly journal

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