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EPRS 4910/7910: Action Research (Morgan, Fall 2020)

Library Database Search Tips

1.  Keywords:  Databases do not typically support natural language searching like you use in Google.  So, typing in sentences or long phrases does not work. One method of searching is to use keywords and connect them with Boolean operators. Keywords are the most important words in your research question.  Keywords are the search terms that you will type into the search box:

Search Term Practice

2.  Using AND, OR, NOT: Boolean operators are the words AND, OR, and NOT. Boolean Operators are how you connect your keywords:

Tutorial: Boolean searching

3. Two more search tips:

  • Use quotations to "search a phrase"
  • Use the star sign to truncate a word*

For example "Action Research"  will search this term as a phrase. Without the quotes, the database will separate the word action from the word research leaving you with many irrelevant results.

education*  will search education OR educational OR educated OR educating

Tutorial: Learn how to format your search using the Boolean Modifiers quotes " ", asterisk *, and parenthesis  [The narrator says the word brackets, but she means parentheses.]

Using Google Scholar

Set up Google Scholar to search GSU subscribed content for full text access:

  1. Open Google Scholar
  2. Click the Menu option (It looks like three horizontal lines)
  3. Choose "Settings"
  4. Choose "Library Links"
  5. A box that you can type in will appear. Start typing in Georgia State University, and the option to choose GSU will appear below the box.
  6. Select Georgia State University as your library, and Click Save.
  7. Once this is set up you will often see the Findit@GSU option to the right of your Google Scholar search results. If the full text is not available from Google Scholar links, click the Findit@GSU option to search GSU subscribed content for full text access.