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Comm 140 Powell Spring 2022

Recommended Databases

Library Database Search Tips


  • Use "quotations" (know as "phrase searching") to limit the search results.  The words in quotation marks will be searched as an exact phrase
    • For example: "Community College" "Communications Studies" "Interpersonal Communication"

  •   OR expands your search since either word can appear in your search results.
    • For example "Community College" OR  "Junior College"

  • NOT excludes information, so it  removes the word that appears after NOT from all your search results 
    • For example:  Communications NOT Journalism 

  • Use an asterisk* for alternate word endings,
    • For example: teach* will pull results containing teaching, teach, teacher, etc. 

Combine Keywords/Concepts

Searching databases requires a little more search structure than our average  Google Search.

Always try more than one search!

You can combine your keywords using AND, OR & NOT 

For more about structuring your searches in databases using AND, OR, & NOT (what librarians call Boolean Logic), watch the following videos:


Advanced Google Searching

Advanced Google search 

To search for multiple concepts: 

  • use ORs between words for the same concept.
    • example:   Latina OR LatinX OR Hispanic
  • use quotes (" ") around phrases.
    • example: "Community College"


To limit to a specific domain, use site: in front of the domain name (no spaces)

  •   will limit a search to just .edu sites 
  • OR   will limit a search to either .edu or .gov sites
  •  will exclude .com sites


To limit to a specific websiteuse site: in front of the website address (no spaces)

The Atlantic           (

The New Yorker     (

NPR                       (

New York Times     ( 

Washington Post (


Complete search example: community college "education statistics "community college" assessment

Google Scholar: Find Full text

Go to Google Scholar (It's listed on our A-Z Database List under G)


When you search google scholar, and full text is available through our Skyline College Subscriptions, you will see the Viewit@SkylineCollege OR Getit@SkylineCollege link under or next to information in google scholar search results. Sometimes the Viewit@SkylineCollege OR Getit@SkylineCollege is hidden behind the arrow. 


Just click the arrow to see the Skyline College link, if available.



Viewit@SkylineCollege indicates it is probably electronically available in our collections.

Getit@SkylineCollege indicates it might be available in our collections.

Google Scholar Cited by Links

Google Scholar definitely has its uses but often it is faster and simpler to go to library databases first and only go to google scholar if needed. 

Google Scholar is interesting to use for an advanced form of library research often used by Professors and Graduate Students called citation chaining. For citation chaining, Google Scholar is a go-to tool. Especially cited by Links

Citation chaining has two forms:

  • Backwards citation changing-you look in the bibliography, works cited, or reference list for articles listed there and locate those articles for use in your own work). 
  • Forward citation chaining- you take an article, search it in google scholar and use the cited by a link to find articles that have cited the article you searched in their own work cited pages.

google scholar chain.PNG

Hope you find this helpful and please let us know if you have any questions about library resources and/or about searching for information

Here is a video about citation chaining.

Citation Chaining with Google Scholar