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Database Search Tips

This guide will help get you started in some of our most popular databases! Happy searching! Let us know if we can help.

How to Use this Guide

This guide offers some tips to using some of our popular databases as well as links to other helpful content.person talking icon

Note: The Library has access to a lot more databases than those listed on this guide! See more via the links below.

Reasons for Searching Databases

question mark iconThere are many reasons you may need to search a database(s) for articles and the Library has many for you to search!

A literature review is a very common reason to search a database. A literature review seeks to identify, analyze and summarize the published research literature about a specific topic. They may be assigned as course assignments; included as part of master's and PhD theses; used in the grant writing process; or conducted before undertaking a new research project. The purpose of a literature review is to establish what is currently known about a specific topic and to evaluate the strength of the evidence upon which that knowledge is based. A review of a clinical topic may identify implications for clinical practice. Literature reviews also identify areas of a topic that need further research.

Review the Types of Literature Reviews tab on the left to peruse the common types of reviews and their basic search methodologies. As the quality of your search will effect the quality of your literature reviews, we recommend working with a librarian to determine the type of review, databases, and search strategies that might be appropriate for your project. Remember that what items your search may miss is just as important as the results you do retrieve. Librarians can help ensure you don't miss relevant literature!

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