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Information Essentials: Using databases to search

What are databases?

Research databases are organised collections of digital information or data such as journal articles, books, images and multimedia that can be searched to retrieve information. Databases can be general or subject oriented with bibliographic citations, abstracts, and/or full text.

These databases contain scholarly and peer-reviewed articles written by credible authors, such as journalists, researchers and experts in their field. Since databases provide powerful search tools for narrowing results, users are better able to quickly find the information they need.

Search Operators

Boolean Search Operators

Most databases use similar search syntax, giving you Smart Advanced search "Boolean" operators (AND / OR / NOT), "Phrase searching" (using "quote marks"), Grouped searches (using (parentheses)), Wildcards, etc.

Different Search engines offer different options, and may use different symbols for the same functions.

Boolean Search Operators: AND / OR / NOT

 

If your assignment had the question:

Outline the career of a musical group from the “British Invasion” in relation to music style, using seminal recordings and other historical information to illustrate your answer.

Instructional words

Outline the career of a musical group from the “British Invasion” in relation to music style, using seminal recordings and other historical information to illustrate your answer. 

Keywords

Outline the career of a musical group from the “British Invasion” in relation to music style, using seminal recordings and other historical information to illustrate your answer.

Concept 1

     AND     

Concept 2

     AND     

Concept 3

"Musical group"

     "British Invasion"     

     (Music AND Style)      

OR

OR

OR

Musician

1960-1970

Genre

OR

 

OR

     (Rock OR PopAND Group     

 

Composition

 

Subject headings

Looking for (Rock OR Pop) AND Group returns "Rock music"

Performing a search for "British Invasion" returns Subject headings including "Rock music Great Britain History and criticism" AND "1961-1970"