How To Use A Research Paper Database System Properly: Helpful Advice

A research paper database system is a necessary part of any large research paper. If you are writing a small paper that only requires a few sources, this is not necessary but if you are writing a paper that is a large part of your course grade and it is intended to have multiple sources, learning how to use one of these database systems is necessary. Here is some helpful advice on how to use a research paper database system correctly:

  • Identify key concepts so that you can effectively search a research paper database
  • Look in three different places based on where you want to find your information. If you want to look in books you can use the library catalogs. If you are looking for articles you need to search databases and if you are looking for unusual sources you can search the internet
  • Start with a general search to get an idea of how much information is out there on the topic of your paper. Once you find out how much information exists, you can then narrow down your search or broaden it. You may want to do an advanced search that combines a few of the sources so that you can find other sources.
  • Use Boolean operators so you can do a better job with the advanced search mode. Use such connectors like AND, OR, and NOT. These connectors will help you narrow down your search to only find sources that include the information you need. If you use the operator AND it will find information that has both terms in the article. If you use the word OR it will find articles that have either one of the terms. If you don’t want certain terms in the article, use the word NOT. These are universal search operators that will help you find what you need to find.
  • You may have some databases that allow you to limit your search so that you focus only on certain results. You can limit your search to certain date ranges to narrow down a very broad category or you can limit your search to only certain journals. This will cause you to get more relevant articles.
  • You can also use truncation to refine your search within a database. Some examples of these are *, ?, !, % and $. Each of these will cause different things to occur within your search.

There are many things to learn about a research paper database system. You need to use these systems and will only get better by practicing and seeing what happens with your searches.

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