Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
What to look for
Records in library databases are comprised of fields containing specific pieces of bibliographic information. Common fields include:
- journal title
- date/year of publication
How database fields improve your search
- Limiting your search to specific database fields can yield more precise results.
- For instance, if you are looking for books by Adam Smith instead of about him, it is more efficient to limit your search to the author field.
- To find various fields within a database, look for drop down boxes or menus to select the field you want to search.
- Then combine words and fields together with boolean or proximity operators, depending on how precise you want to be.
- If you do not choose a specific field, the database usually reverts to a keyword search, where your words will be searched throughout the record.
- If your keyword search retrieves too many records (more than 50), try narrowing your search to retrieve a more manageable result.
- Information overload - too many results - can be a worse situation than finding only 10 very relevant results.
Example of fields
The record belows shows the field names on the left: Author, Title, Source, Standard No., Details, Language, Abstract, Descriptor