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Searching Databases at Chaffey College: Searching Databases at Chaffey College

Databases at Chaffey College

Why Use Academic Journals?

Journal articles are considered a very reliable resource for information on a topic and instructors will expect you to rely more on journal articles as you move along in your college career.

Here are some reasons why.

In journals:

  • Articles are usually written by scientists, researchers or subject specialists reporting the results of an experiment, survey, or research project
  • Articles usually have a bibliography at the end -a good place to locate more resources on your topic!
  • Articles usually include charts, statistics or surveys - "hard data"

In magazines and newspapers:

  • Articles are usually written by journalists, not necessarily subject specialists
  • Articles rarely have bibliographies
  • Articles may have great photos but not usually anything considered "hard data"

Accessing Databases at Chaffey College (video)

Quick tips!




These are some common rules of most databases:

  • Use quotation marks to group phrases = "gold rush"
  • The most common wildcard/truncation symbols are * and ? = wom*n will find woman, women, and womyn
  • Most databases use AND as a default connector (Boolean) between your keywords ="binge drinking" college will look for both keywords 
  • Capitalize Boolean terms = peanut butter AND honey
  • Use parentheses to group complicated search requests = "peanut butter" AND (jelly OR honey)

Studying your search results is a great way of finding more relevant keywords, removing irrelevant terms, and looking for additional resources in article bibliographies.  You can also follow author names to see if they have written more on this subject and what authors they have cited.

Chaffey College • 5885 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737 - 3002 • 909/652-6000
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