Answered By: Susan Steele
Last Updated: Mar 08, 2017     Views: 54

  • Look for and correct any typographical errors.
  • Exclude unnecessary terms from your search, and combine the remaining keywords with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT). For example, (smoking or cigarettes) and movies and teenagers will retrieve results, but the influence of smoking in movies on whether teens start smoking will not. Longer search strings may work in Google, but they don't work well in most research databases.
  • Be sure you're using an appropriate database for your topic. Don't accidentally choose a literature database to find information about criminal justice or an ebooks database to find newspaper articles. See the library's subject research guides to identify recommended databases for different disciplines (art, business, etc.) and formats (books, articles, videos).

If you're not finding what you need, please consult a research librarian.