How To Use A Dissertation Database Efficiently: Clear Instructions

Databases are essentially a compiles list of whatever topic you are looking for. They are constantly updated so you have the most current list of topics. When you are talking about dissertation databases, you will find a list of all writings in all different types of sources such as books, magazines, blogs, and any other form of media. These databases are usually kept and updated in electronic form for ease of updating and finding what you need.

There are some guidelines you should follow so you are able to find all of the information you wish from your database search.

  1. Use keywords to complete your search. Don’t use complete phrases or titles of articles. Find different keywords that will possibly lead you to the article of your choice.
  2. Use the word AND to combine keywords. The more keywords you combine, the more refined your search will be. You need to experiment with this because you don’t want to refine your search to the point where you don’t get enough of a result.
  3. Use truncation to broaden your search. If you use a keyword such as terror*, you will bring up results from all forms of terror such as terrorism, terrorist, or any other word that starts with the root. You may also use a question mark in a word that may be spelled different based on different languages such as civili?ation will bring up search results from the word civilization and civilization which is the way it is spelled in Great Britain and Australia.
  4. You may be able to change the search parameters depending on the search engine you are using. It may be more helpful to search for your topic by subject rather than keywords.
  5. Think of all of the ways your topic can be described and use those as a search. There may be some relevant dissertations on your subject matter that doesn’t even mention your topic by name. Stretch your imagination and you may find treasures you never would have found before.
  6. Don’t just use one database to find all of your information. Try other databases because they may categorize things differently. You can search for the same keyword in two different databases and get two entirely different results.

Don’t forget to talk to your librarian at your university for some additional information on how to get the most out of your dissertation database. This is a great resource for finding all the information you need on this subject.

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