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How do I search library databases?

Learn how to select the best database for your research assignment.

Need Help?

Ask a Librarian @
Betty Sue Jessup Library

501 College Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Select a database

Step 1:

Start by searching the "Find Articles" box on the library's homepage.  This searches a selection of databases from a company called EBSCO.  It is a good starting point for most topics.  Need help searching EBSCO?  See our playbook on How do I search EBSCO?  

For best results, search by using keywords separated by AND. All the keywords you use should be directly related to your topic. For example, if you're investigating how music may affect infants' sleep, search using this string: music AND infants AND sleep. See example below.

library homepage find articles search box


Step 2:

If you can't find what you need in the EBSCO databases, try another database.  A complete list is on our Database List page.  Click the "Database List" button on our homepage.  

Step 3:

Select a Subject from the left menu to find the appropriate database.  If you're off-campus, you will be prompted to login.  Below is a list of particularly helpful databases:



  • It's helpful to use boolean search terms when searching library databases.  Combine nouns with any of these terms: and, or, not.  For example, if you want articles that talk about dogs AND cats (both terms appear in each article), or dogs OR cats (either term can appear in the article), or dogs NOT cats (the term "dogs" appears in the article, but if "cats" also appears, then it's filtered out).  
  • Can't find what you need? Ask a librarian.