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Albert S. Cook Library


Learn more about recommended Psychology resources

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How to Guides

Basic Database Searching

Searching Databases: Using "Connectors"


AND  - Searches for articles containing both terms. Use to combine main concepts or variables in your search.

Example: sleep AND health = results containing BOTH the words "sleep" and "health."

OR - Searches for articles that contain EITHER or BOTH terms. Use for synonyms or related terms.

Example: women OR woman OR female OR girl = all results that mention women regardless of which term an author uses

NOT - Searches for articles that do NOT contain a term. Use sparingly.

Example: education NOT technology = results using the term "education" but not the term "technology"


Remember: Use each search box in a database to represent a "main concept" in your search.

Here's an example a search for information about the relationship between sleep and anxiety or depression in women.

Separate synonyms for a main concept with "OR." Leave the drop downs between search boxes on "AND"

Finding Articles from a Citation

Use the "Journal List" to find a specific journal or article

  • In the journal list, search for the name of the journal
  • Date ranges show the time span the journal is available in a particular location (e.g., a specific database or on the shelf at the library)

The "Journal List" is also available from the library's homepage.