The term "Boolean Operator" sounds very technical. Don't let the name scare you! It's actually a very simple concept. Boolean operators refers to a set of words that we can use in our searches when we want create a specific relationship between our search terms. There are three Boolean Operators:
Using these three words, we can put together searches that yield results that reflect the approach we are taking towards our topic. When we use one of these three words, our results will be more focused and relevant to our specific interests.
Example: Sunken pirate ships make create artificial reefs and promote a healthy ocean ecosystem.
If we want to find a source that talks about both sunken pirate ships and artificial reefs, we could search with the terms:
"Sunken pirate ships" AND "artificial reef"
This search would give us results that overlap both of these terms within each source.
If we wanted to find specific examples of artificial reefs in specific bodies of water, we could search with the terms:
"Gulf of Mexico OR "Indian Ocean"
This search would give us all of the results each of these terms (all of the results for "Gulf of Mexico;" all of the results for "Indian Ocean.")
Scout is the University Libraries' main search interface. When you search Scout, you access most of the library's collections including newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, electronic books, print materials, and some primary source materials. Scout is a great place to start searching for your assignment! This section will explain:
Complete the following steps to create a Scout account:
Once signed up, you will be able to review your search history and re-run any previous search, as well as save materials in Folders, and organize materials in subfolders.
Note that your Scout account is not connected to any other EBSCO login and it is not connected to you MyBama login; your Scout account is also not connected with the authentication process for accessing library materials.
A Database is, quite literally, a container for sources of information. Sometimes that information is an index or a directory that leads you to another location where an item is stored, but often the database contains the item itself. So for example, we have databases that hold newspaper articles (Proquest Newspapers, America's News, and Nexis Uni are a few of our newspaper databases). We also have databases like Statista, which is a portal for statistics on a wide variety of topics. It is important to be able to indentify and search in specific databases that are relevant to your topic because Scout searches a lot of the library's content, but it doesn't have access to some databases.
You can access all of our databases using the Database link on the University Libraries homepage, or check out the examples of databases in this section.