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GC-621/GC-691 Capstone Courses

Discipline Based Databases

Discipline Based Databases

Most databases in Academic Libraries are "discipline based," meaning they specialize in the literature from a specific discipline.  The features in these databases can be especially helpful when you need to create complex searches for a more comprehensive literature searches.






Database Tutorials

If you are unfamiliar with the databases available through the library, we recommend watching video tutorials to see the basics of how they work. The links below will take you to tutorials for the three major databases. That aid, librarians are also available to help you make sense of these tools. Just ask us!

Modifying an Unsuccessful Search

Modifying an Unsuccessful Search

If you aren't happy with the list of articles your search brings back, here are some ways you might think about changing your search.

1. Too many articles / Articles aren't on topic

  • Make your topic more specific. You could add words to describe the
    • population
    • setting
    • treatment or intervention
    • outcome
  • Make your terms more specific. For example
    • "women" becomes "women over 50"
    • "analgesic" becomes "opioid"
    • "recovery" becomes "length of stay"

2. Too few articles

  • Make your topic less specific
    • focus on the core ideas (remove unnecessary details)
    • choose less specific terms ("exercise therapy" becomes "exercise")
  • Look for different search words 
    • synonyms - brainstorm synonyms (e.g. "length of stay" = "hospital stay") or different forms of a word (e.g. therapy, therapies, therapeutic)
    • scan abstracts and subject headings to find out which words authors and databases are using to describe your topic.

Photo by Anant Nath Sharma, used with permission under a Creative Commons license

Using Cited By in Google Scholar

Using "Cited By" in Google Scholar

“Cited By” can show you who has cited an article that you like to help you find more articles on your topic. If you’re working on a research paper and having difficulty with finding articles specific to your research question, question, “Cited By” can help you find more relevant articles.


Interested in a text tutorial? Click the PDF link below: