Basic Search

Completing a basic search in the Gale Databases looks similar to searching through Google.  The big difference is that you cannot search a database the same way that you would search Google.  You will need KEYWORDS or SUBJECT TERMS in order to search.  Type a KEYWORD into the search field near the top of the page in order to complete a search.  Let’s say you are researching concussions.  You aren’t quite sure what focus you might take on this topic.

If you type concussions as a basic search, you will retrieve thousands of results.  A good place to start is in reference.  Reading entries about concussions under reference might help you get the needed background information that you need to order to identify your focus.  

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Another way to use basic search to narrow down your topic is to look at the News and Magazines to see the subjects contained within. Looking through the list of subjects, you might decide to look at concussions and teenage athletes.  You can further limit those 57 articles down.  Perhaps you will see that you are interested in concussions in soccer players.  Using the limiting features helps you consider how to narrow your topic down!

Advanced Search

Using basic search and limiting your results may be a nice way to see the various subtopics in your bigger topic.  If you already know your focus, using advanced search may be the way to go.  Access it by clicking on the magnifying glass with the plus sign inside.

You might need to know a little bit about Boolean Operators first.  This video reviews the concept nicely.

If you know that you want to learn about concussions and soccer, you can use the AND operator.  If you want to make sure that you won’t get articles about professional, you can use the NOT operator to eliminate results that mention “professional.”  

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Faceted Search

Part of Gale’s advanced search is something that librarians call Faceted Search.  You can actually tell the Gale Database what types of sources that you want instead of getting all the sources.  This can be incredibly helpful if you are required to have a certain type of source.  Click on the Advanced Search Icon and put in your keywords with Boolean search operator and scroll down to see your options.  

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You can select the desired Content Type.  If you want news articles because you need the most recent information, you can set parameters for publication date and select NEWS from the Content Type.  Think about all the time that you can save with smart advanced searching in databases!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Woodall, the teacher librarian, for further assistance.  You can find Mrs. Woodall in the library during lunch and extended lunch daily.  Or you may email her for help: twoodall@muhsd.org.