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WRI 112/113: The Craft of Authenticity: Database Basics & for Craft

Guide for using the library for research successfully in Julianna Visco's writing seminar.

Database Searching tips

1. the Advanced Search will usually give you more options (eg limit to certain types of content - see no. 9 below)

2. Phrase searching:  can put a phrase in quotes

3. Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT - connects two or more words to narrow or broaden a search, or to help clarify terms with multiple meanings (can be combined with phrase searching) [sometimes you have to type these in--in CAPS--and sometimes you will see them listed to connect subject terms (select AND, OR or NOT)]

4. Truncation symbols: to capture all forms of a word - use * or ? at the end of a word

5. Most databases we subscribe to that combine both scholarly and more popular sources allow one to limit to only scholarly, or peer-reviewed, or both types of resources

6. Most databases allow one to save results in a folder for future access, or to easily e-mail citations and/or full-text (e.g. a PDF) to oneself to consult later on. Just make sure to empty out the folder before leaving a database, or you will lose your saved items (unless you have created an account and logged in).

7. One can almost always limit by date and language (of the source)

8. Many databases includes abstracts or summaries of the books or journal articles so as to provide enough information, often, to know if it's worth it to read an item in its entirety online or go seek out in the library

9. Depending on the database, a range of material can be included: advertisements, book reviews, feature articles, book reviews, images, newspaper articles, dissertations, etc.

10. You may have to brainstorm a bit up front to determine all the possible ways your subject or key terms could be formulated both commonly and by the particular database/search engine you are using

Database suggestions specific to this course (avail. via PUL)

This list is not exhaustive. One can browse databases by subject--see next tab on this guide--or do keyword searches within the database titles and descriptions on the DATABASES tab on the library's webpage: e.g. "fashion" is represented but doesn't have its own category.