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HDFS470: Children and Families at Risk

Where to Search

Search Tips

Searching in databases is a bit different from searching in Google Scholar.  

Tip 1:  Search with words, not ideas.

Our databases literally search for the string of letters you type in, so you may need to try a variety of terms to see which one will work. Any time you are searching a database, try to think flexibly about possible words to use for the search. Think about all the ways that an idea could be described, and make a list: 

ex: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, interventions, treatment, education, support, etc.

Tip 2: Add one word or phrase at a time

We never know what words will work until we try them in a database. Build your search with a broad term and add more focused terms one at a time. Check your search results after each change to see how it affected the number and type of articles that are appearing. If a word doesn't work, try another or Ask a Librarian for terminology suggestions!

Tip 3: Switch databases

If you're not finding anything in one database, switch to another! There is no such thing as a database that has everything. Even google only has items that are both free and in digital formats. You will likely need 2-3 databases for any topic you choose.