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REL 4343 Saints, Sages, and Social Reformers: Searching in Databases


You Search in databases by using  keywords. These are the main words in your research question, but they can also be other terms that you have discovered by doing background research. They can also be synonyms of the main terms in your research question.

Searching in Databases

Searching in Databases involves using special terms called boolean operators

Boolean Operators

Image: Boolean Operators Poster created by West Library Information Literacy Department. Boolean Operators are used to construct searches. When used in conjunction with keywords, they can help you find better information through web, database, and catalog searches. Boolean Operator Terms: And, Or, Not. Using AND is the quickest way to narrow searches. Example: athlete AND pay. Use OR to look for similar search terms. Example: pay OR wage. Use NOT to exclude unhelpful information from your search. Example: football NOT soccer. If you are not sure where to begin, don’t be afraid to ask for help at the Reference Desk.