Database searching can be difficult if you're unfamiliar with the process or out of practice. But if you’re going to use Library resources and databases to their full potential you need to step up your searching game.
We can help.
In research and journal databases it's important to use keywords instead of sentences for searching. A search string like (complaints about wait times in hospital emergency rooms) won't retrieve any results, whereas a search like (emergency room AND wait time AND complain*) will certainly find some relevant results.
Before you begin searching, think about reducing your topic to a few of the most important keywords. To help you brainstorm, we've devised a list of common keywords related to teaching.
Boolean Operators are necessary for creating connections between your keywords. Are you looking for several synonyms? Two or more different concepts? Do you want to exclude certain terms? How will you communicate this to the database? Boolean Operators are the answer.
If we don’t use operators, Factiva and other databases assume we’re looking for words as a phrase: immediately adjacent to each other and in the same order. For example, searching “Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge” would force Factiva to look for the phrase “Kitchener Waterloo Cambridge” in each item, leading to less (and less relevant) results.
Wildcard symbols modify specific words to give our searches more breadth.
Quotation marks can help to give your search greater focus. There's a big difference between searching for (weight AND loss) versus ("weight loss"). Quotation marks conduct a phrase search so that your keywords will be linked together.
There are many books related to teaching available through the Library. Here are a few ways to find relevant literature: