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Help / Tutorials

Video tutorials and handouts on library resources and searching strategies

Self-Paced Course


This is a complete self-paced guide to searching bibliographic databases. It is generally applicable to all search environments, but actual search examples will focus on the systems currently in use at Creighton University, primarily EBSCOhost, Scopus, and PubMed.

These tutorials are published as PDF files for easier printing and downloading. We strongly suggest that as you study these guides, you try out what you learn in a bibliographic database.

A Complete Tutorial:

A rose by any other name ...

The key to searching is understanding the vocabulary issues.

How computers process searches - a conceptual model.

Understanding this model of how search terms are processed will help you develop logical and effective searches.

Fields and record structure

The records in bibliographic databases such as Medline are very structured. Understanding how to use this structure to your advantage can turn a messy search into a focused and effective search.

Tools for searching

All searches are constructed using a combination of Boolean Operators, Proximity Operators, Wildcard characters and Truncation operators.

Controlled vocabularies

Evaluating a search

Putting it all together: Search planning and search strategies