Answered By: APUS Librarians
Last Updated: Oct 18, 2017     Views: 3103

The APUS library's databases are more powerful than search engines like Google.  They can sort by relevance or date.  They can be limited to full text or scholarly articles only.  And they search the contents of articles and books that are not available freely to the general public.

But, library databases work a bit differently from most search engines, and so take a little practice to master.   

Here are some common research pitfalls that are easy to fix:

  • Don't enter long phrases into the search box. Instead, type just a few words -- the main concepts from your research topic. 
  • Check your spelling!  Again, databases search for exactly what you type.
  • Choose the right databaseSummon is a good place to start, but if you have a very specific topic, you might need to search a subject database.  Find recommended databases on the library research guides (click the Articles/Journals tab on your guide).

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