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How to Begin a Database Search: The Very First Steps

Very basic steps to find all our databases on our website and get into them. #databases, #articles, #searching

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The word, "Introduction."

     The John M. Pfau Library pays for access to more than 150 databases (our Deep Web) that are carefully chosen to support CSUSB's curriculum and student research.  But which one should you use?  Follow the steps below or ask a librarian to recommend the best databases for your topic.  A librarian also can help you choose some keyword search strategies and demonstrate how the databases work.

HINT!  Starting your research on our website with our databases ensures that you will have free access to all the full text included in our database subscriptions.

     This guide shows you how to begin a database search.

YOU ALSO MAY BE INTERESTED IN:

STEP 1 - CLICK ON THE CHOOSE A DATABASE BUTTON

     ON THE front page of the library's website, find the Choose a Database button shown below and click on it.

The Choose a Database button.

STEP 2 - CLICK ON A BROAD SUBJECT AREA

     THE NEXT screen will be a list of database subject areas; there are multiple databases in each of these subjects. Match the subject area to the class you are taking or to the topic you are working on.

Databases by Subject list of all databases.

The word, "Hint!"

Did you know there are seven ways to get help on your assignments and research from librarians?  See our brief guide below for details.

STEP 3: CLICK ON A DATABASE

     CLICKING on any of the subjects reveals the list of databases for that subject.  Here is an example with the list of databases in psychology.  Now you can choose a database by clicking on its name and get into it.

Screenshot: List of psychology databases.

STEP 4 - SET UP YOUR SEARCH

     THIS EXAMPLE shows the search screen of the PsycINFO database.  By the way, EBSCOhost is the name of the software, not the database.

Screenshot: Database search screen.

Most of the time, other than typing in your keyword search, you only need to click in the box for Scholarly (peer reviewed) Journals.

NEVER click in the box for Full Text on a search screen!  Why?  Because doing so turns off a system we paid extra for that gets you the maximum amount of full text possible across all of our 150 databases.

 

NEED A LARGER VIEW OF THE SCREENSHOT ABOVE?  GO TO THE NEXT TAB.

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