If we don’t have the item you need, we can help current students, faculty, and staff borrow it from another institution for free! We also provide digital article delivery services for faculty, staff, and graduate students.
Start your search here with some of the best databases for scientific research.
1. Use Simple Terms
Use short, simple words or phrases. Don't type in your entire topic as one sentence.
EXAMPLE: If you're writing about "the importance of peer relationships in the developmental stage of middle childhood," search only the key words/phrases: peer relationships and development and childhood.
2. Use Search Symbols (Boolean)
or = expand your search by including different forms of a word. EXAMPLES: Stocks or bonds. Cats or felines.
" " = search for a specific phrase. EXAMPLE: "World War Two"
* = add 1-5 characters to the end of a word. EXAMPLES: Panda* finds panda and pandas. Inter* finds internal and internet.
3. Start Broad
If you get too many results, you can always narrow your search terms later.
The Clemson library has dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other tools to help you build essential knowledge in the first stages of research.