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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

SPURS - guide for instructors

How to search databases

These databases are overwhelming to search

Yes, that is true. Why? We buy subscriptions to resources from various vendors who then provide us with their own search interfaces.

Moving on. 

If there  is an option to head to an advanced search - in any database or search engine, including Google Scholar, go there first. 

Academic Search Complete is a database we purchase from EBSCO. All EBSCO databases have a similar search interface and this interface is one you'll see in other resources (Gale is similar, for instance, as are many advanced searches in databases).

Head back to the keywords tab and brainstorm keywords. Then, divide them up by topic or concept and search each concept on a separate line. Ex: Should plastic bags be banned in Austin?

LexisNexis Academic is not the easiest database to search, but keep in mind how precise it is and encourage your students to embrace the precision. Here are some screenshots to help you find news articles (How to search LexisNexis tab)

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