Database Tutorials

Need help searching in a specific database? Most CUW library databases are from one of 3 providers: Ebscohost, Proquest, or Gale. You must be logged in to Primo to access databases. Ask a librarian for additional help or unique databases.

Double click the Video to open a larger version.

General Search Tutorials

These tutorials contain information about the basics of searching most of the CUW databases. 

ProQuest (Proquest Central)

EbscoHost (ex. Academic Search Complete)

Gale (Opposing ViewPoints in Context)

Ebooks

Most CUW Ebook are provided through Ebsco and Ebook Central. Sign-in to Primo to access Ebooks. All Ebooks can be read in most browsers. To download Ebooks to a device, you must create a free account with Ebsco or Ebook Central.

Database Thesauri

Look up the subject terms used in different databases in a Thesauri. Each provider has it’s own thesaurus.

ProQuest (Thesaurus)

Ebscohost (Subject Terms)

Gale (Topic Finder)

Note: Health Sciences Database Tutorials are located within the subject guides for Nursing, OT, PT, and Exercise Physiology.

Library Glossary

Abstract: A brief summary of a book or article

Annotation: A short description or evaluation of a document.

Archives: A repository of documents and other materials of public or historical value.

Article:  a contribution written by one or more persons and published in a periodical or as part of a book, usually non-fiction.

Bibliographic record: a bibliographic record refers to all the information necessary to identify one item. This information usually includes at least the title, author, call number, publisher, and date of publication, sometimes more.

Bibliography: A list of sources of information (articles, books, and other materials) on a specific topic. Bibliographies can be found at an end of a book or article to refer to the resources used in writing the book or article, or to refer researchers to recommended further reading. Bibliographies can also be independent works that are annotated

Boolean operators (terms): The words “and”, “or”, “not” used in keyword searching to broaden, narrow, or limit a search.

Bound periodical: Several issues of a periodical (magazine or journal) are often bound together as a single book for storage. Bound periodicals usually contain a full volume, or one year’s worth of issues, of the title.

Call number: An identification code assigned to a library collection item (book, video or audio recording, manuscript, periodical, musical score, etc.) that distinguishes one item from another and indicates its location in the library. The collection is arranged using the Library of Congress Classification System.

Citation: A citation is a standardized description of an item (book, article, video or audio recording, etc.) containing sufficient information necessary to locate the item.

Citation style: A standardized system for citing materials used when writing books or papers. Citation styles are often created by professional organizations such the Modern Language Association (MLA) or publishers such as the University of Chicago Press (Chicago Manual of Style).

Cite: The act of indicating the source of information. Authors cite their sources for two important reasons: 1. To give credit to the originator of an idea or research they wish to discuss, and 2. to allow readers to locate the source of the information and read it in context

Copyright: the exclusive legal right to control the production, use, and sale of copies of a literary, musical, or artistic work.

Database: an organized collection of information. Commonly, the term “databases” refers to electronic or computer databases.

Hold: to place a hold on an item means to reserve it. An item that is checked out may have a hold placed on it by another patron who wishes to use it. When the item is returned, the library will contact the patron who is waiting so they may check that item out.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL): Interlibrary loan is a service provided by libraries to give patrons access to materials available in other libraries.

Issue: a specific publication, complete in itself, of a serial or periodical. Usually indicated in a citation as “n” (number) or “i” (issue) and an issue number.

Journal: A professional or academic periodical usually issued monthly or quarterly which contains scholarly articles, reports, research, and/or papers.

Keywords: Keywords are significant words that appear anywhere in the bibliographic record for an item. Selecting terms for a “keyword search” can be challenging. Good choices for keyword searches are the topic words or synonyms of the topic, major elements of the topic and can be combined using in a search query using boolean terms.

Keyword searching: A search made up of keywords and boolean terms. When used in context of searching, the researcher chooses keywords rather than using the controlled vocabulary of the system.

Literature Review: a written survey of progress in a particular field over a given period of time.

Literature Search: a systematic and exhaustive search for published material on a specific problem or subject

Microform/microfilm: a means of archiving printed documents, especially periodicals. A printed document is photographed and the image is reduced and printed on a transparent film, which can then be read by a machine.

Periodical: A publication that appears on a continuous and predictable schedule. Examples include newspapers (daily or weekly), magazines, and journals.

Peer reviewed: A level of scholarship. Peer reviewed articles have been evaluated by several researchers or subject specialist in the academic community prior to accepting it for publication.

Plagiarism: The use of another person’s words, ideas, or research without crediting the source. Passing off another person’s work as one’s own.

Primary sources are original works. These sources represent original thinking, report on discoveries or events, or share new information. Usually these represent the first formal appearance of original research. Primary sources include statistical data, manuscripts, surveys, speeches, biographies/autobiographies, diaries, oral histories, interviews, works or art and literature, research reports, government documents, computer programs, original documents( birth certificates, trial transcripts…) etc.

Refereed: A level of scholarship. Refereed articles have been evaluated by at least one area specialist prior to acceptance for publication.

Reserve: A selection of specific books, articles or other material set aside by professors for use by students in particular classes.

Scope: The range or content of a specific work, which indicates what information is included and what is excluded.

Secondary sources are usually studies by other researchers. They describe, analyze, and/or evaluate information found in primary sources. By repackaging information, secondary sources make information more accessible. A few examples of secondary sources are books, journal and magazine articles, encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, periodical indexes, etc.

Stacks: “Stacks” is a colloquial term used to refer to the areas of the library where materials are shelved.

Subject headings: a standardized word or phrase describing a topic or concept. Also called descriptors or controlled vocabulary.

Thesaurus: A list of all subject heading or descriptors used in a database, catalog, or index. A thesaurus will indicate the correct controlled vocabulary to use for a given term.