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SCAN 240: Fairy Tales & Folklore (Dr. Henry)


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Notice that you can change what you're searching by clicking the little down arrow next to "Tredway Library resources":

  • ALiCat = Augustana's Library Catalog = our books/materials that we have here at Tredway Library
  • I-Share = all the books/materials in all the college & university libraries in Illinois
  • Articles = articles in most of our research databases

Benefits of Creating an Account

When conducting research, you will use our library search, OneSearch. This research guide will walk you through steps on how to best use OneSearch for your research purposes. Before we delve into how to locate the library's resources using OneSearch, it is recommended that you sign in.

Although it is not required that you sign in with OneSearch, it is recommended that you do for several reasons:

  • Renew items on your account
  • Create a list of your favorite items 
  • Export citations
  • View full search results (some databases only show results when you're signed in)
  • Request items from I-Share

Sign in locationTo sign in, you simply need to use your Augustana network ID and password. When you are on your computer, you can locate the sign in option in the upper right-hand corner. You may also click on the "Menu" option, and then click on "Library Card."

General Search Strategies

This tutorial provides strategies for effective database searching (which can be used with the databases on the Library Resources tab of this guide), which is different than using a search engine.

  • Use keywords instead of full sentences or questions
    • Search engines allow you to type in a question or a phrase. In order to keep your results from being biased, databases cannot be searched this way because they do not want to guess what you are looking for. It is best to search using  key terms instead of a question or phrase.
  • Use multiple search boxes
    • Search engines commonly use one search box. In databases, it works better to use multiple search boxes—one box per keyword or search term representing a different part of your topic or question.
  • Use quotes around phrases
    • If you use a term that has multiple words in it, use quotation marks around the phrase to ensure that the database searches for the phrase instead of the individual words.
  • Use synonyms using “OR” or in multiple searches
    • It is a good idea to try multiple searches using different terms. You can expand your search by using synonyms in the same search box connected with the word “OR”. If you don’t know any synonyms for a search term, look at your search results. You can use keywords or search terms from the titles or abstracts of other sources.
  • Use the language of the database 
    • You can use keywords or search terms found in the subject terms or subject headings within the database. Databases use tags to group articles on similar topics. Using subject terms or headings  increases the amount of relevant and specific results.
  • Search for all forms of a keyword
    • By using an asterisk symbol after the root of a word, you can have the database search for all potential endings to a word at the same time. This way you don’t have to know the exact forms of words any authors used.
    • Example:
      vaccin* OR immuniz*
      This will search for and find articles that have the word vaccine, vaccines, vaccination, vaccinating, vaccinated, OR the word immunize, immunizing, or immunization

Advanced Database Search Tricks

Most databases (including the OneSearch catalog) tend to share a number of tricks that can be incredibly helpful to use:

  • About stop words -- Many databases ignore very common English words and contractions, sometimes called "stop words" (such as a, an, the, in, of, on, if, into, etc.).  Be careful when using stop words in searches as you may get unexpected results (e.g. searching for "Into the Wild" will tend to ignore both "into" and "the" and search only for "wild" -- though some databases are getting better at parsing these).
  • Use quotations marks to keep phrases together like "West Side Story" and "social justice". But be careful -- make sure something is really a phrase or you might miss important results. Stop words may also still be ignored in exact phrase searches!
  • Use truncation (putting * after the root of a word) to find variations of a word. Librar* finds library, libraries, librarian, and librarians. This can be a very useful tool for expanding a search to include related terms.
  • Using boolean operators -- these are simple words (AND, OR, NOT) used as conjunctions to combine or exclude keywords in a search, resulting in more focused and productive results. This should save time and effort by eliminating inappropriate hits that must be scanned before discarding.  Some databases will have a dropdown menu next to search boxes to make easier use of these operators.
    • AND -- requires both terms to be in each item returned. If one term is contained in the document and the other is not, the item is not included in the resulting list. (Narrows the search)
    • OR -- either term (or both) will be in the returned document. (Broadens the search) 
    • NOT -- the first term is searched, then any records containing the term after the operators are subtracted from the results. (Be careful with use as the attempt to narrow the search may be too exclusive and eliminate good records). If you need to search the word not, that can usually be done by placing double quotes around it.
  • Using parentheses -- Using the ( ) to enclose search strategies will customize your results to more accurately reflect your topic. Search engines deal with search statements within the parentheses first, then apply any statements that are not enclosed.
    • Example: A search on (smoking or tobacco) and cancer returns articles containing: smoking and cancer; tobacco and cancer; smoking, tobacco, and cancer all together; but does not return results about smoking or tobacco when cancer is not mentioned.