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Social Work Resources

Creating a Search for a Library Database

  • Once you've selected a database or databases, you can search create a search on your topic.
  • When you're creating a search for a library database, it's different than doing a search using the Google web browser. In Google, you can type in a phrase or ask a question; however, you cannot do this when searching in a library database.
  • In a library database, you must connect your keywords using the Boolean connectors AND, OR, and NOT. Think of this as simple coding that enables the database to understand and execute your search.


meditation AND treatment AND anxiety

(meditation OR relaxation) AND treatment AND anxiety --> Terms separated with an OR must be enclosed in parentheses.

meditation AND treatment AND anxiety 

Search Tips

  • Use an asterisk to find variant or multiple endings of a word, or to find the plural of a word. 
    meditat* AND treatment.    ---> meditat* will find meditate, meditates, meditating, meditation, or meditations
  • Use quotations to search for phrases.
    "guided meditation" AND treatment AND anxiety
  • An example using both an asterisk and quotions:
    "guided meditation*" AND treatment AND anxiety

Research Assistance

If you need assistance creating a search on your research topic, contact your librarian (Go to the Start Here tab on this guide for contact information).

Limiting to Peer-Reviewed Journals and Limiting by Publication Date in EBSCO Databases

  1. On the results list, you can limit to peer-reviewed articles by selecting the check box beside Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals in the left menu (see image below).
  2. You can also limit by Publication Date in the left menu. For example, you can limit your results to articles published in the last ten years by changing the "From" date (see below).
    Screen Capture in Ebsco showing where to limit to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals and by Publication Date.

Limiting to Peer Reviewed Journals in ProQuest Databases

  1. In ProQuest databases, you can limit your search to scholarly peer reviewed journals by selecting the check box for Peer reviewed below the search box (see below):
    Screen capture of search screen in ProQuest databases, showing where you can limit to Peer Reviewed below the search box.

  2. Alternatively, you can limit to Peer reviewed in the left menu on your results page, after you do your search (see below).
    Screen capture showing where to limit to Peer Reviewed in the left menu in ProQuest databases.

Ulrich's Periodical Directory - will tell you if a periodical is peer reviewed

If you aren't able to limit your results to scholarly or peer-reviewed journals, you can check the Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to find out if the publication is peer reviewed or refereed (articles have gone through a peer review process). 

  1. Go to UlrichsWeb on the Library's Articles & Databases page.
  2. Search by journal TITLE or ISSN.
  3. The refereed symbol at the far left of the title (it's supposed to look like a referee uniform) will indicate if the journal is peer-reviewed or refereed.
  4. Example:  Screen caption of results in the UlrichsWeb database. Titles that are peer reviewed will have the circled black and white referee uniform to the left of the title.