What is a library database? A library database is an electronic catalog or index that SDSU subscribes to that contains information. These databases are organized so that you can search through a great deal of information easily. The information within library databases vary but typically, they include articles and other information from print sources like magazines, academic journals, newspapers and reference books.
Databases have different topical coverage within them. Some databases are multidisciplinary and have information on many different topics. Other databases are specialized to one topical area like business, or psychology. It is important to keep this in mind when it comes time to pick which database to search in.
Databases have a huge amount of information within them. To more effectively mine through this data, use the search syntax or searching rules to improve your search results. This means you need to use the Boolean operators of: AND, OR, NOT to create search strings using your keywords.
You need to break down your topic into the most important elements to then create a search string. Before jumping into your research you should spend a few minutes brainstorming keywords to help form search strings about your topic. You can think of keywords as how you might “tag” your topic.
Now that you have thought about some terms that might be in articles about your desired subject the trick is to create search strings that incorporate those keywords as well as the rules databases use to run their search algorithms.
Databases use search algorithms to mine thru the great amount of information the databases have. Therefore, it is important to use the search syntax or searching rules that will provide you with the best results. This means you need to use the Boolean operators of: AND, OR, NOT to create search strings using your keywords.