Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

PCA Academic Writing

Find Articles

Watch this video to find out how to search in a database. Video credit: NEIU Ronald Williams Library.

How do I search for articles in databases?

The following steps will help you form effective searches:

1. Identifying Keywords: Brainstorm a list of words related to your topic. 

2. Use the Boolean Search Operators (AND/OR) to connect your keywords. When used in search boxes, AND, OR and NOT will broaden or narrow your search. This is how it works.

All results would have both calcium AND fatty acids


Results would have either calcium OR fatty acids or both.

Results would have calcium and never fatty acids.

An example search in the PsycINFO database

This search will retrieve documents that include the terms video games and violent, and teen.

An example of a failed search.

Reason: The database will interpret this search as a phrase, so only results where the words are next to each other will appear.

Want to take your search to the next level?


This will expand your searches. If one author uses "teen", another uses "youth", and another uses "adolescent" - they'll all show up in this search.