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Beginning to Search for Articles

Databases: the Basics

What Exactly Are Databases?

Database Tutorials

Top Tips for Searching

Refining Search Results
This video will explain how to brainstorm a topic before you begin searching, refine your search based on your results, and manage your search results.

Search Tip: Truncation
Increase the effectiveness of your searches by adding truncation, a database tip to make searching easier

Boolean Tutorial (AND OR NOT)
Practice your skills with Boolean operators in this quick tutorial. It will help you understand this easy search technique.

Boolean Operators Infographic
One of the basic techniques for searching is using the Boolean Operators. Boolean searching is a symbolic logic system that creates relationships between concepts and words.

How Library Stuff Works: Boolean
Learn how to use the Boolean Operators AND/OR/NOT to target and refine your search

Truncation Tutorial
Truncation helps you look for plurals and different spellings of a word. This tutorial will help you understand how to use it.

Best Kept Secret: Subject Terms vs. Keywords
This video will help you understand the difference between searching by keywords vs. subject terms in library databases. This is the best kept secret of searching!

Quick Tips for Searching Infographic
Created by MSJC Librarians, this quick reference will get you the 5 best tips for getting your best search results. 

Advanced Tips

How to Read a Scholarly Article


Have a citation for a journal article (for example, one you found in a book or at the end of an article, or got from a professor) and want to access the article itself?  Since many individual journal articles are not listed in the library catalog, search for the title of the journal, using the pull-down menu to the right of the search box to limit your search to Reed Library. Your search results will include any print or electronic holdings for the journal you need. If the article you are looking for is not available at Reed, you can request it from Interlibrary loan.

Locating bibliographies relating to your research topic is often a good way to save yourself time and effort. You can find bibliographies at the end of most Grove Music Online, other journal, and even Wikipedia articles.