Research Methods

Search Skills

  • Basic concepts for database searching. Concepts and terminology useful in thinking about search engines. See also the larger glossary.
  • Search operator comparison. A one page table comparing basic search operators in various search engines.
  • Search tips, part 1. Elementary topics like metadata and controlled vocabulary; precision vs recall; how to find better search terms; how to retrieve more or less in a bibliographic database; how to group or combine terms.
  • Search tips, part 2. More on searching a controlled vocabulary database. Single search and synonymy and polysemy. Undisclosed and unexpected automatic processing.
  • Search tips, part 3. Searching natural language document sets. Relevance ranking. The future.

Database Manuals and Tutorials


EBSCO databases

How to download the EBSCO Mobile App

  • Google Play:
  • Apple App Store:

How to use the EBSCO Mobile App

Other Databases/Systems

Research Theory


Most papers at DTS should conform to the format detailed in A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate Turabian. The resources below will make this much easier.

Essential Files

Citation Software and Miscellaneous Tips

Research Aids

Here is a potpourri of practical tips and aids to research.