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EHS 497/597 Special Problems in Education: Searching

Almost all databases use the same functions.  Once you know what to look for and how it works you can take that skill set anywhere.

A Reminder about Keywords

"Keyword" is just a term used to encompass all sorts of words and ideas that you use to search for resources.  They include terms from the

  • Title
  • Author's name
  • Publishing dates
  • Previous search results
  • Reference Lists and Notes

AND OR NOT = Search Predictability

The most basic function you will find in a database is Boolean Searching.  Boolean Searching uses AND, OR, & NOT to tell the machine how your keywords should function.

Imagine searching for a pet in a database of an animal shelter.  You might do something like this:

dog AND cat = for kids who want a pet that is both a cat and a dog          

dog OR cat  = for those who aren't sure which pet or have no preference        

dog NOT cat = for those allergic to cats


Schoolhouse Rock was about writing, not algorithms, but the song gets close enough to maybe help you remember. (Also, it's Schoolhouse Rock.)

Search Fields


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  • Interlibrary Loan [ILL] If you find an article or a book you need that the library does not have, use Interlibrary Loan to request the item from another library. This service is free to you; just login using your Blazer ID and password. 

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