Some Thoughts on Searching Databases

I have found it exciting searching databases for information and EBSCO Host is my current favourite. My number one tip at the moment for searching is to think carefully about search terms, and then refine the search terms even further as one reads. Using synonyms and considering words that might be used in other cultures is useful, for example, using different words for the same issue such as ‘Food Security’ as opposed to ‘Food Equity’. Advanced searching is very useful tool too.

I use EndNote at work and using the export feature in EBSCO or JStor for bibliographic data makes everything simple and easy.

The most useful thing I learnt this week was how to create a research folder on EBSCO.

I think we are very lucky in Australia to have free access to State Libraries’ databases. I am in awe of the information that is available to any member of the public who applies for a card and who has access to the internet.

Teaching students to use databases can be challenging. Student are often more ready and keen to use Google and they do have some success with Google Advanced search. I have learnt that only demanding research assignments tend to warrant the use of databases at school.


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