Most databases and search tools organize content using what's called a "controlled vocabulary." That means that there are specific search terms that will retrieve results about a topic.
When you are doing research about a topic, it is useful to spend a few minutes getting acquainted with the subject terms used by each database for that topic. Use the database's Thesaurus to search for subject terms, browse for subject terms, understand the topic hierarchy, or add subject terms to your search.
Remember, the tool can't read your mind. It's designed to be comprehensive and efficient, but you'll need to adapt your communication to it.
Not sure what that means or want some personalized assistance? We're happy to help. Just ask a librarian!
This 3-minute screencast walks you through the process of accessing library resources 24/7 from our website. It demonstrates how to search for ebooks using the library catalog, find and access the list of library databases, find research guides from your librarians, and use the contact form to ask us your questions.
If you'd like additional help or more specific assistance, reach out to a Student Learning Librarian. Your Student Learning Librarians (Ellen and Linda) are happy to help with all kinds of research. We can help with:
Reach out to us in any of the following ways:
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fill out the Ask a Librarian form on our website.