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PLA 3003: Prior Learning Practices: Databases

Written Tutorial

Starting at the library’s homepage, click on Databases under Quick Links.

This is the A-Z Database List which has features to help you determine which databases would be best for your research. On the right side of the page, you will see a list of popular databases. These databases are always a great starting point for research. If you are looking for databases that are subject-specific, you’ll notice that the databases are also organized by subject.


Search Tips:

  • Begin with 2-3 terms. Avoid long phrases.
  • If the first term doesn’t work, try a synonym or a term that is broader or narrower.
  • To find additional keywords, look at the article titles, abstracts, and subject terms in your results. You may also consult a thesaurus or use the terms suggested in the search bar. 
  • Use quotes (“”) around your search terms that include more than one word. This ensures that the database will search for it as a phrase rather than individual words.


Initial Search

Refined Search

In addition to adjusting your search terms, you can also apply limiters to your search. On the left side of the page, you will usually find a Refine Results column with options to limit by scholarly (peer reviewed), publication date, source type, and more. 

On the item's record page, you’ll find important citation information, subject terms, and an abstract, or a summary of the article, which will help you determine its relevance. If the full text is available, you will be able to access it from this page as well.

To the right is a toolbar. You may want to email the article to yourself, print it, or get the citation for your bibliography. Remember to always double check the citations you get from the databases because there can be mistakes.

Video Tutorial