Loyola University Chicago Libraries

UCWR: Search for Information

Keywords

Why use keywords to search? Well, there are a few reasons.

  • The library catalog and library databases work differently than Google. When you use Google, you can often search for phrases and get relevant results. 
  • Library databases work best when you search for concepts and keywords
  • There may be multiple ways to describe your topic. 
  • Brainstorming keywords can also lead you to tangential topics and perspectives to consider. 

How do I figure out what keywords to use? 

Check back in the Types of Resources tab to explore some reference sources on your topic. After reading through some background information, you can pull keywords from that material. Googling your topic can also lead to keywords. 

Understanding Databases

Loyola University Libraries has access to hundreds of databases where you can find materials for your research. Here's the full list of Databases available to you as a Loyola student. 

What is a database? 

A database is basically a one-stop shop for a variety of sources. Databases can contain materials like academic journal articles, book reviews, statistics, newspaper articles, magazine articles, etc. Different databases contain different types of materials. 

Databases also differ in how they present information. Some databases give you access to full-text articles, while others give you citations for articles that are hosted elsewhere. 

Remember, you can always Ask a Librarian for help if you can't find relevant articles or need help using a database. 

There are two types of databases to keep in mind.

  1. Subject Specific Databases. These databases contain materials in particular subject areas of disciplines, such as History or Psychology. The easiest way to find subject specific databases is to check out the Loyola's Research Guides
  2. Multidisciplinary Databases. These databases pull together material, often both scholarly sources and popular sources, from a variety of subject areas. Check out the Types of Resources tab of this guide to discover some general or multidisciplinary databases. 

Lewis Library