How do I use the search settings in library databases?
This depends on the library database you're searching. However, there are some standard database features and options you can expect to see.
There will be one or more search boxes and the option to select the field of the database you'd like to search. A keyword search is the default search and your best bet most of the time. Other options include subject, title, and author searches.
If you look around the main search screen, often you'll see you have the option to limit your results to specific kinds of materials, sources published within a specific date range, full-text, etc. Generally that's not necessary right off the bat.
Usually you can just perform a keyword search and then refine your results after that as necessary. Databases usually give you the option to limit the results you have by source type (magazines, newspapers, academic journals, reviews), publication date, subject, language, etc.). Using these limiters will give you fewer, but more targeted, results.
If you have more questions about searching databases, please Ask a Librarian. We're happy to help!