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How to Search

Instructions for searching for different types of documents in the library databases

How to Search

This guide will help you get started on your library research:

  • In the Quick Search boxes you can jump right in and search most of our databases and all types of documents.
  • Searching can be tricky! See the Quick Tips tabbed boxes for step-by-step instructions. Be sure to contact a librarian (see the Essential Library Info box) if you need help.
  • The blue menu has links to pages with instructions for searching specific types of documents.
  • Below the blue menu are boxes with instructions for Database Access (user IDs and passwords) and Essential Library Info -- with the link to Library Drop-In Zoom.

Remember to contact a librarian (see Essential Library Info box) for help with your research!

Quick Search Everything EBSCO

Search Everything EBSCO

peer-reviewed, academic, or scholarly articles; newspaper articles; ebooks; and more!

Search all the EBSCO databases at once for all types of resources on all topics.

1. Put keywords into the Everything EBSCO search box and hit Search or enter:

Search Everything EBSCO

 

2. Sign in to EBSCO. The Database Password button links to the user IDs and passwords in Canvas.

 

3. EBSCO Search Tips: Watch this video or scroll down to the EBSCO Search Steps box:

EBSCO Search Steps: Follow the Numbered Tabs

Video Instructions

  • You can view a quick video on searching EBSCO or continue reading through the tabs in this box.

To search EBSCO

  • Enter keywords into an EBSCO search box.
  • Sign in to EBSCO. The Database Password button links to the user IDs and passwords in Canvas.

Keyword Search Tips

  • Check your assignment and readings for terms related to your research assignment.
  • Use AND between search terms to include all the terms. This will retrieve fewer but focused results: meditation AND teens.
  • Use OR between search terms to include any of the terms or alternative terms. This will retrieve more and broader results. Use parentheses around the OR words: meditation AND (teens OR adolescents).
  • Use NOT to exclude a term: meditation AND teens NOT adults.
  • Use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase: "guided meditation".
  • Use an asterisk at the end of a root term to search for different endings: nurs* will retrieve nurse, nurses, and nursing.
  • Try Advanced Search (under the search fields on the results page).

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

No Results? Too Many Results?

  • If there are No Results, use fewer keywords or try a broader term that expresses or is related to your topic.
  • Use the Refine Results menu (on the left) to focus and narrow your search results.
  • Click the double-arrow tab to view Refine Results if the menu is not visible.

EBSCO Refine Results menu highlighted.         EBSCO Refine Results tab highlighted

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

In the Limit To box:

  • Uncheck SBVC Library.
  • Check Full Text.
  • Choose a Publication Date range that follows your assignment's guidelines or makes sense for your topic. Enter the years in the boxes, and hit return on your keyboard.

EBSCO Limit To and Publication Date highlighted

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

Under Source Types:

  • Click the checkboxes to choose the type of source: academic journals, news, ebooks, magazines, and more.
  • Click Show More to see all options.
  • Consider viewing one source type at a time.

EBSCO Source Types highlighted

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

Under Subject: Thesaurus Terms

  • Review associated terms and concepts to further narrow or focus your results. Click the checkboxes to limit results to specific terms.
  • Scan the list for new keywords and terms that express your topic.
  • Scan article titles, abstracts, subject terms, etc., for terms that express your topic.
  • If needed, re-do your search with new terms.

EBSCO Subject Thesaurus Terms highlighted

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

From the Results List:

  • Click on an article title to go to the Detailed Record for the abstract and full text.
  • Read the abstract or summary to preview the content.
  • To read the article or other item, go to the the links (on the left) HTML Full Text and/or PDF Full Text.

Detailed Record and Full-Text Options highlighted

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

In the Tools menu:

  • If you don't see the Tools menu, click the double arrow at the top right.
  • There's a variety of ways to save your article, ebook, or other item.
  • We recommend email! Click on E-mail. In the box, choose the citation style (usually APA or MLA). Enter your email address and a subject. The email will include a permanent link back to the article in the SBVC Library database and the citation for your Works Cited or References page. Be sure to proofread and format citations, as they are computer generated.

 

EBSCO Tools Menu with email and arrows highlighted                    EBSCO email pop-up screen

Quick Search Everything ProQuest

Search Everything ProQuest

  • Peer-Reviewed, academic, or scholarly Articles (New!)

  • Ebook Central (New!)

  • Ethnic NewsWatch (New!)

  • Major Daily Newspapers, Magazines, Films, Dissertations, and more!

Search all the ProQuest databases at once for a variety of resources on a wide range of topics.

1. Click on the ProQuest link to go to the search box:

 

2. Sign in to ProQuest. The Database Password button links to the user IDs and passwords in Canvas.

ProQuest Search Steps: Follow the Numbered Tabs

To search ProQuest

  • Click on the ProQuest link and enter keywords. You can choose the type of document you need above the keywords bar.
  • Sign in to ProQuest. The Database Password button links to the user IDs and passwords in Canvas.

Keyword Search Tips

  • Check your assignment and readings for terms related to your research assignment.
  • Use AND between search terms to include all the terms. This will retrieve fewer but focused results: meditation AND teens.
  • Use OR between search terms to include any of the terms or alternative terms. This will retrieve more and broader results. Use parentheses around the OR words: meditation AND (teens OR adolescents).
  • Use NOT to exclude a term: meditation AND teens NOT adults.
  • Use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase: "guided meditation".
  • Use an asterisk at the end of a root term to search for different endings: nurs* will retrieve nurse, nurses, and nursing.
  • Try Advanced Search (under the search fields on the results page).

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

No Results? Too Many Results?

  • If there are No Results, use fewer keywords or try a broader term that expresses or is related to your topic.
  • Use the menu (on the left on computers and on the bottom on tablets) to sort and narrow the results.
  • Sort results by relevance, most recent first, and oldest first.
  • Full text should be checked.
  • Check Peer reviewed if you need peer-reviewed, academic, or scholarly articles. 

ProQuest Filters with Sorted by and Limited to.         

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

Under Source Type

  • Click on the source type you need. Click More to view and choose multiple source types

Under Publication Date

  • Click the Publication date range you need, or click Custom Date Range. Choose a publication date range that follows your assignment's guidelines or makes sense for your topic.

ProQuest filters: Source Type and Date highlighted

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

Filters

  • Use Subject to further narrow your results or to find new keywords to search.
  • Use Document type to choose specific types of documents.
  • Use Language to limit to English or another language.
  • Use Publication Title to choose specific publications, such as The Los Angeles Times.
  • Click on More filters to choose multiple options.

EBSCO Subject Thesaurus Terms highlighted.           ProQuest Document Type menu

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

Read

  • In the list of results, click on an article title of Full Text to read the article. 
  • Click on Details for information about the article.

ProQuest article title with Details and Full Text

At the top of this box, click on the next numbered tab for more instructions.

Icons on the Top

  • There's a few ways to save! We recommend email because you'll receive a citation with the article.
  • Click the email icon on the top right of the article page.
  • In the pop-up, choose your citation style. The email will include a citation for your Works Cited or References page.
  • Be sure to proofread and format citations, as they are computer generated.

ProQuest email icons and popup               

Search Process

What's the assignment?

  • What's the topic of your research?
  • What are keywords for this topic?
  • How many sources do you need?
  • What type of sources do you need?
  • What citation style (MLA, APA, or another) is required?

 

Which database do I search?

The research guides organize the databases in different ways. You can search many databases at once (Quick Search Everything EBSCO and Quick Search ProQuest). It also has search boxes for specific subjects (for example, English) or materials (ebooks, newspapers). Some guides have lists of helpful individual databases.

Databases are organized by subject and by type of resource:

  • academic, scholarly, and peer-reviewed articles,
  • ebooks,
  • background and pro-con articles,
  • newspaper and magazine articles,
  • film and video

You can also see all the databases in one place: 

Which user ID and password do I use?

After you click to search the the database, you'll need to sign in. The Database Password button links to the user IDs and passwords in Canvas.

How do I search a database?

Each database has a slightly different search interface. The follow steps covers your options in most databases:

  • Keywords: Begin your search by typing keywords into the search bar.
  • Refine or focus results: Use the left-hand menu to focus your results by date, article type, publication name, etc.
  • Scan your results: Read the article titles to see if they are helpful.
  • Read an article: Click on the title. This will take you either to the full text or to more information about the article.
    • To read an article in EBSCO, from the Detailed Record page with the abstract and keywords: On the left, click HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text.
  • Save or cite: Each database will have a menu or icons to e-mail, share, save, or generate a cite.
  • Repeat: Search the same database with different keywords or search a different database.
  • Need help? Contact a librarian. We're here to help you with your research!

San Bernardino Valley College Library: Reference: refdesk@valleycollege.edu, 909-384-8289. Circulation: 909-384-4448.