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Why do some searches come up with no results?

Last Updated: May 15, 2015  |  70 Views

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If you've searched the SLU Libraries Catalog or a library database and retrieved no results, these could be possible causes.

1. You might have misspelled something. Library catalogs and databases aren't very forgiving when it comes to spelling errors.

2. You may have entered too many keywords. Try to enter only keywords that represent the topics you're researching. Don't enter you're entire thesis. For example instead of searching for "playing violent video games makes teenagers violent" search for the following: videogames and violence and teenagers.

3. You may need to broaden your search. For example, instead of doing a search for "videogames and violence and teenagers," you could simply search for "videogames." You'll also want to remove any limits that you've placed on your search (like date, publication type, etc.) You may also need to try to think of your topic more broadly. For example, instead of looking for articles about Lady Gaga, you could look for articles about our country's obsession with celebrity, the cult of celebrity, etc.

4. You may be searching a library database that doesn't contain the kind of content you're looking for. Use the SLU Libraries Databases by Subject categories to find a database that fits with the subject you're researching and/or the class you're taking. If you still have questions, please Ask a Librarian.

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