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BIOL 312 Wildlife Ecology and Management Class Guide

Search Tips

Once you find a database, here are some tips for searching it as efficiently as possible:

Look for ways to limit your results:

  • Unlike Google, you are not limited to just a keyword search. In most databases you can narrow down your results by:
    • subject area,
    • type of material (just peer-reviewed journal articles), or
    • date published (this especially important in an area like wildlife ecology where information can become dated very quickly)
  • Explore the subject or thesaurus terms that are used by most databases. Since these are standardized, they allow you to find all the relevant information on a particular subject and weed out a lot of false hits. 
  • Quotation marks will isolate that phrase: "natural selection" lists results containing only that specific phrase, but results for natural selection would contain natural AND selection somewhere, not necessarily side by side
  • Remember to use Boolean Operators to help make your search more efficient:
    • AND will produce results that contain BOTH terms (e.g. birds AND bees)
    • OR generates results that contain EITHER term (e.g. dogs OR canines)
    • NOT results will include the first terms, but not the second (cats NOT musical)

Relevant Databases

Science Specific Databases

Interdisciplinary Databases