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How to Search the Databases: Home


If you are not on an Edison State campus, you must login with your Edison credentials to access library resources. This will require you to input your name and Library barcode number (1973 + student ID #). If you need help, contact the Library by phone (937-778-7950) or email

Step 1: Plan Your Search

1. Identify what you're searching for

  • What is your topic? 
  • What kinds of sources can you use? 
  • Where can you find these sources?

2. Find your search terms

  • What keywords can be used to best describe your topic?
  • Is there specialized language or abbreviations that should/could be used?

General Search Tips

  • Don’t type questions into the search box. Databases are not Google and don’t work the same way
  • Don’t be afraid of doing multiple searches; it might take a while to come up with the right combination of search terms.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The librarians are available to help.

Step 2: What is a Boolean Search?

A "Boolean Search" is a type of search used in the databases to better specify what you're looking for

  • Uses operators: AND, OR, NOT
  • Can limit or broaden your search
  • While useful, Boolean is not always necessary when using the databases

Step 3: I Searched, Now What?

1. Too many or too few results?

  • Limit further or broaden your search

2. How relevant are your results?

  • Change search terms/combinations
  • If there is at least 1 relevant result, look for subject headings to utilize in another search

Step 4: After Finding Relevant Results

1. Save the results you find--you might not be able to get back to them

  • Download PDFs and relevant article info
  • Copy and paste HTML articles

2. Utilize the database's citation feature

  • Not always correct, but it's a good starting point 

3. Copy the permalink or persistent link of the article

  • Doesn't always work, but it's often a useful way to get back to the article at a later time
Edison State Library Hours: Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Phone number: 937-778-7950