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Continuing Education Knowledge Exchange

Suggested Library Databases


Use ABI/INFORM, one of the largest business databases, to find articles from more than 3,700 scholarly journals and popular magazines and newspapers (including full-text articles from The Wall Street Journal, 1984-present), as well as business cases and 18,000 doctoral dissertations and master's theses.

Academic Search Premier

A multi-disciplinary database that provides access to scholarly journal literature across all disciplines as well as access to magazine articles and some newspaper articles. This database is a recommended starting point for just about any research on any subject. Because it is a multi-disciplinary resource, it is particulary useful for topics that span disciplines.


Use ERIC, the premier education database, to find scholarly and practitioner-oriented articles in peer-reviewed and other journals, papers given at conferences, and scholarly reports in education and behavioral sciences.

How to Do a Better Online Search

When searching library databases, you often find either too few items, or too many.  The following tips and examples will show you how to broaden or narrow your search.

To broaden your search when you find too few items:

  1. Include additional synonyms or related terms for each search concept, using the “or” connector.
    Example:  (restaurant or diner or café) and (advertising or publicity) and (cost or price)

  2. Drop the least important concept (and its synonyms) from your search.
    Example:  (restaurant or diner or café) and (advertising or publicity) and (cost or price)

  3. Use truncation to find variant forms of your search terms.  Consult the online help in each database to learn the appropriate truncation symbol. Typically, it's an asterisk.
    Example:  clothing and market*  [“market*” finds market, markets, marketing, marketer, marketable, marketability]

  4. Try your search in a different database.

  5. When you find useful items, look at them carefully to see if they contain additional synonyms or official subject headings/descriptors that you can search.

To narrow your search when you find too many items:

  1. Add another concept to your search by using the “and” connector.
    Example:  bakeries and retail

  2. Limit your search to a specific year or range of years, or to a particular type of publication (e.g., peer reviewed).

  3. Remove some of the synonyms that you connected with the “or” connector in your search, leaving the most important or specific term to describe each concept.
    Example:  (restaurant or diner or café) and (advertising or publicity)

  4. If the database allows it, indicate that your search terms must appear in a specific field such as title, abstract, or subject headings, rather than “anywhere” in the record.  If your search terms appear in these fields, it is more likely the item will be relevant to your topic.