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Alabama Virtual Library Overview: Basic Search


Part 2: Basic Search

The easiest way to search an AVL database is called a "basic search". Most databases default to basic searching unless told otherwise by a user. Some resources, like Britannica offerings for younger readers, only have a basic search function.

The slides to the right show the basic search functions for three of the most common databases on AVL: EBSCO, Gale, and Britannica. Google is included in the slide show to demonstrate how similar the interfaces are.

Basic Searching: EBSCO

Basic Searching: Gale

Basic Searching: Britannica

Basic Searching: Google

Typically users will use keywords and "natural language" (the words you would use to describe something in every day conversation) to search for information.

This is usually how people search Google: you search for information using words you associate with a topic. To put it another way, if you can search for information using Google, you can search for information using any of AVL's databases - at least at a basic level. 

This will pull up useful information, but you may have to sift through some irrelevant or older materials to find what you need.

Advanced search techniques, on the other hand, will help you to find more precise information with less sifting.