This is the "Home" page of the "Searching a Database" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Searching a Database   Tags: databases, research, resources, searching  

Need a refresher on database searching? This should help you get started.
Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Home Print Page

What is in the database?

When searching a database, it is important to note what subject areas are covered by the database to ensure that you are using the correct database for your subject.  Other factors to consider are the time period covered and the type of materials covered such as journals, books, book chapters, dissertations, etc.  Look for a list of journals or other materials that are included in the database.  Check for any links to "About this database" for the answers to these questions. 


Dissecting a Database: Teaching Yourself How to Search

How can you figure out the best way to search a new or unfamiliar database?  Although many databases look different at first, most have similar features.  Understanding these basic features will improve efficiency and effectiveness of your searching.  It will save you time and also will improve the accuracy and comprehensiveness of your searches.  What you learn with one database can be applied in most cases to other databases that you encounter.  Below is a list of things to consider about any database and some tips on how to determine the specific features of the databases you wish to use.


What does the database search?

Determine what you can search by such as keyword, subject, author, title of article or journal.  Determine which one is the default search option and how to switch to other types such as by a dropdown menu.  Clicking on "Help" should give you information about the various searches available.


Creative Commons

Created by the UCLA Library and used with permission under Creative Commons Licensing.


Need Help?

Email -

Text - 775-843-8424

Call - 775-881-7511


Loading  Loading...