Learn to Search

Use Advanced Search Symbols

You will often complete a search but need to narrow it down more or even change the search altogether. Changing keywords and connectors is one way to do this, but the database gives more filter options.

Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks if you are searching for two or more words as a phrase. When you enclose the words in quotation marks, the databases will search for those words together instead of as individual words.


"Battle of the Bulge"

The above example will return sources on The Battle of the Bulge. If you searched without quotes, it may return articles on The Battle of the Bulge, but it may also return sources on battle in general, and sources about bulges in general.


Parentheses can be used to group similar keywords or synonyms together as a single topic.


 impact AND (WHO OR "world health organization")

By grouping the acronym WHO and its written-out form together, the database will search for it either way.

Tip! Some databases don't require parentheses, but they can help visually group terms together.


An asterisk can replace the ending of a word to search all forms of that word; this is a strategy called truncation.



The above example will become child, children, childhood, childish, etc. This can be a useful strategy when searching for words that can be written in different forms, like cultural competency/culturally competent.

Use Advanced Search Filters

Subject Filter

When clicking on this filter, you will see many words that are possibly related to your search. Think of the subject words as main topics or main ideas. When you choose one or more of those subject words, it will narrow your search to see those words as a main topic.


You can add a country as a keyword:


“medical insurance” AND “United States”

While adding a country as a keyword may help, it is recommended to look at the source itself to determine where the research was completed. Good places to look for this information are the abstract, methods, or results sections. In one (or all) of these sections, you should find what the study is and that usually includes where it took place.

Find and Share Permalinks

Step by Step Instructions

The Search Everything is the search box on the library homepage that searches all of the databases in Chamberlain Library at once.

1. When you find a source you are interested in from the search results, click on the permalink (chain link) icon in the upper right-hand corner. 

Permalink chain link icon in Search Everything search results

2. Select Copy the Permalink to Clipboard.

Copy the permalink to your clipboard in Search Everything search results

3. Paste the link into your document.

Step by Step Instructions

To find the permalink for an article in an EBSCO database like CINAHL or Medline Complete -- or when you use the Search Everything tab on the library homepage -- do the following:

1. From the Search Results, click the title of the article you're interested in.

Selecting an article in EBSCO search results

2. This will take you to the Detailed Record for the article.

An article's Detailed Record contains all the important information about an article. It's also where you can find a number of other tools besides the permalink button, so be sure to explore what's there!

Detailed record for article in EBSCO search results

3. On the right-hand side of the page, look for the Tools.

Tools column to the right of article's detailed record

4. Under Tools, select the Permalink icon.

Permalink icon selected under Tools column for article

5. A box will appear above the title of the page containing a long URL that starts with https:// -- that's the permalink.

Permalink highlighted in box over title of article

Step by Step Instructions

Permalinks in the OVID database are a little bit hidden, but you can find them by doing the following:

1. Go to the article in OVID, and look for Tools on the right-hand side of the page.

An article in OVID with the Tools column highlighted

2. Select Email Jumpstart.

An article in OVID with the Email Jumpstart link highlighted

3. A box will appear in the center of the screen -- the Jumpstart URL is your permalink.

Once you've copied the permalink, you can close the box. You don't need to do anything else.

An article in OVID with the Email Jumpstart box open and highlighted

Step by Step Instructions

1. Go to the article in ProQuest.

An article in ProQuest with no highlighting.

2. Select the Details tab.

An article in ProQuest with the Details Tab highlighted.

3. Scroll down the page to the Document URL -- that link is your permalink.

The contents of the Details Tab with the Document URL section highlighted.

The Browser URL is the Permalink

In the following databases, the Browser URL is the permalink:

  • Science Direct
  • Wiley
  • DOAJ

You can find the Browser URL at the top of your browser window.

An article in ScienceDirect with the Browser URL highlighted

Manage Your Sources

Best Practices

Once you've found a source (or ten!) you want to read or use for an assignment, you will want to be able to easily get back to the sources again. The library has different recommendations on managing citations but the number one rule is to find a method that works for you!

  • Many of our databases offer the ability to email yourself a permalink or PDF copy of a source.
  • Search Everything has a "Pinning" feature where you can quickly save and export sources. Click the pin icon on any source to add it to your favorites.

    Animation of the Add to Favorites feature

  • If you have a few sources, it may be easiest to keep track of your citations in a text document (e.g. Word) or a spreadsheet.
  • If you have many sources, consider using one of the citation manager tools provided by the library.

Note! Each citation manager is different and we always recommend double checking the citation for accuracy.