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EDC 200 (Prof. Greco-Blois, Spring 2024)

Some Tips to Remember When Database Searching

Creating a search in a database:

  • Before you begin searching, decide on the keywords that you want to use as search terms.  

    • For example, if you’re interested in studying the use of games in college courses, your keywords could be “games” and “college”.

  • Think of synonyms (or words that mean the same thing) for your keywords.  

    • For example, synonyms for “college” include “higher education” and “university”. Synonyms for games could include “game-based learning”.  

    • Using synonyms will give you more robust search results. 

    • Some databases will auto-suggest search terms that you can use!

  • Use Boolean operators in your search.  

    • These are short words in capitalized letters that give the database instructions on how you want to search.  “AND” and “OR” are the most commonly used.

    • “AND” tells the database that you want to find articles that include all of the search terms. 

    • “OR” tells the database to find an article with any search terms.

    • Examples: 

      • games OR game-based learning

      • Games AND college

    • The Advanced Search Builder in Ebsco databases includes Boolean Operators.