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Alabama Virtual Library Overview: Advanced Search Techniques


Part 3: Advanced Search Techniques

Most AVL databases are built the same way and have the same underlying functionality. Usually differences between databases are cosmetic. That means users can develop a core set of database searching skills and apply them to any AVL database. For that reason, this section focuses on Gale and EBSCO as examples. (Britannica resources tend to only offer basic searching because of the nature of its content and are not included in this part.)

Advanced Search EBSCO

Advanced Search Gale

The "core skills" of database searching are applied in a database's "Advanced Search" screen. As you can see in image the carousel to the right, EBSCO and Gale databases have similar advanced search options. To summarize, they are: boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT); limiters and expanders (like date published, language, etc); a thesaurus or controlled vocabulary; fields; and truncators. Applying some or all of these techniques will help you to hone or expand your search to find information relevant to you.