This guide supplements the LIBBI session and includes suggested resource links, search strategies, and research tips to support the course assignments and student research needs. It is provided to help Composition 303 students with the research assignment(s), which may include writing on an ethical issue within a discipline or career, analysis of contemporary lyrics, worldviews and more. If off campus, when prompted, log in with your ORU network login or Single Sign-On (SSO).

Choose a Database

Discovery Tool:

Multidisciplinary Database:

Subject-related databases (Literature):

Boolean Operators & Search Strategies

Boolean Operators: AND, OR and NOT

Boolean Operators

Use the chart below to develop effective search expressions.

Search Strategies

Full Text Finder & Linked Full Text Links

Most articles are available full text.

If the full text is not available in the database you are searching, use the Full Text Finder or Linked Full Text link if it is available in the left sidebar of the article record. The link may go to1) the full text article in another database, 2) the Library catalog record when the article is available in print in the Library, and 3) the open access journal, or article, available on the Web or publisher's web site.

Evaluate and Edit

Evaluate the Search Result List. In the database, sort the List: Relevance is usually the default display. Sort by date for the most recent articles to appear at the top. Add Limiters: Date, peer reviewed, subjects, language, etc.

Evaluate Your Articles. Click the title to view the full record. If available, read the abstract (article summary) to see if the article is relevant to your topic. Look for additional keywords and subjects to search and refine your results.
Four common criteria for evaluating information resources are:

  • Authority - Who is the author? What else has the author written? What is the author's point of view?
  • Timeliness - When was it written? Is content current?
  • Purpose/Intended Audience - Why was it written to inform, persuade, promote, sell, or share? Is it for scholars or a general audience?
  • Reliability/Credibility - Is the information accurate and complete?  Is the website user-friendly and well organized? Are proper references provided? Does the website URL have a reputable domain name (i.e., .edu or .gov)?

Edit/Expand Your Search. In the EBSCO platform, use the "Choose Databases" link (shown below) to mark and search a different database or mark several databases to search simultaneously.

Read the article full text. Click HTML, PDF, Full Text, Full Text Finder, or similar link. Note: "Full Text Finder" may link to 1) the article in another database, 2) the ORU library catalog record that shows the journal is available in the library, or 3) an open access article on the Web or a publisher's website.

Cite your sources. In EBSCO databases, use the "Cite" tool or create multiple citations using the Print manager.

If you searched your topic in a database and got "zero" results:

1. Always check your spelling first. (It is the easiest correction to make.)

2. Edit your search. Consider using fewer keywords, the subject index, the thesaurus, synonyms, truncation (the asterisk *), and other tools to revise your search. For example, searching effect* will bring up results that include effects, effective, effectual, effected, etc. A well designed search query will give the most relevant results and save you time.

3. ORU has numerous subject databases. Choose a different database or try several subject databases related to your topic or subject.

Need Help? Ask-A-Librarian.