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How to Use Catalogs & Databases

Detailed step-by-step instructions (with screenshots) for using the library's catalogs and databases

How to Find Multiple Types of Sources

Places where you can find multiple types of sources (books, articles, videos, and more) from the same search.

Charger Search by Credo


Charger Search by Credo is an easy-to-use tool for starting research. Gather background information on your topic from hundreds of full-text encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, quotations, and subject-specific titles, as well as 500,000+ images and audio files and over 1,000 videos. Search results will primarily be from reference sources, and there are options to link to databases from the left-side menu.

Here's a link:

Searching from the Basic Search Page (Main Page)

click here to view screenshot (click again to close)

screenshot of Credo basic search page

  1. Access library links from the very top
  2. Use navigation links from the blue bar
  3. Enter search terms in the search box and click the Search button
  4. Browse subjects using subject links

Searching from the Advanced Search Page

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screenshot of Credo advanced search page

  1. Enter search terms into the boxes
    • With the exact phrase = search will look fo the words as a phrase together; similar to a phrase search that uses quotation marks
    • Without the words = search will exclude the word(s); similar to using NOT before the word(s)
    • With any of the words = search will look for any (but not necessarily all) of the words; similar to using OR between every word
    • With all of the words = search will look for all of the words; similar to using AND between every word
  2. Limit the results according to:
    • subject or discipline area
    • specific publication years or date ranges
    • source types (such as articles with images or audio, etc.)
  3. Sort the results according to:
    • relevance
    • length (how many words)
    • publication date
  4. You could also search only within subject headings, but that's a very specific type of search that's not usually as helpful when you're starting a search
  5. Click the Search button when you're ready to start

Reviewing the Search Results

click here to view screenshot (click again to close)

screenshot of Credo results page

  1. From the top:
    • Use the search box to tweak search terms, if needed
    • Adjust the drop-down for the type of search (topic search, basic search, etc.)
    • Look at the related links to see if any of them might be useful
    • Click on the tabs to switch between all results, images, topic pages, and mind maps
  2. From the left-side menu:
    • Narrow the results according to:
      • subject
      • media or content type
      • publication date
      • length of the source (number of words)
    • Continue the search in other databases
      • Click on the links under the Related Resources heading to go to Gale, EBSCO, or other databases
  3. For each source:
    • Click on the "eye" icon to view a preview of the source (a panel will open below the source's title)
    • Click on the floppy disk "save" icon to save the source to your folder

Previewing a Source

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screenshot of Credo preview tab

  1. Click on the "eye" icon to view a preview of the source
  2. If the source is an article, an abstract will appear. Otherwise, a brief excerpt from a book or longer source will appear
  3. Click on the "continue reading..." link to view the full-text of the source
  4. Click on the "X" icon to close the preview panel

Viewing the Full-Text of a Source

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screenshot of Credo record page

  1. From the top:
    • Click on the "Go Back to Results" link to return to the search results page
    • Click on the "Previous Article" or "Next Article" links to go to the full-text of articles directly before or after the source according to the search results
    • Use the "Search the book" box to search within the source. (If the article is from a larger work, such as an encyclopedia, this search will go outside the article you're reading to search within the full book.)
  2. From the right-side menu:
    • Click on the database links in the Search Other Sites list to repeat the search in other databases (such as Gale, EBSCO, etc.)
  3. From the bottom:
    • There are citation generators at the bottom of the page to provide a basic reference in APA, Chicago, Harvard, and MLA styles.
      PLEASE NOTE: If you choose to use this, be sure to copy, paste, and edit. Databases usually include database URLs, which not all citation and style guides want to use. (In fact, many don't want you to use database URLs.) There may also be issues with author names, capitalization, and the use of italics. Just be sure to proofread based on the style your professor asks you to use for your assignments.

Charger Search: All Library Databases

Charger Search: All Library Databases is a broad tool for searching multiple library resources at once. Gather information from books and ebooks; articles from journals, magazines, and newspapers; theses/dissertations; reports; reference works; & more. This search system will mix the different types of sources into one list of search results.

Here's a link:

Searching from the Basic Search Page (Main Page)

click here to view screenshot (click again to close)

screenshot of Charger Search basic search page

  1. Access library services, such as Ask a Librarian, and Advanced Search from menu icon
  2. Enter search terms in the search box and click the Search button

Searching from the Advanced Search Page

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screenshot of Charger Search advanced search page

  1. Change "All Fields" drop-down to search by title, author, etc.
  2. Enter search term(s) in box(es)
  3. Change "AND" drop-down box to adjust AND, OR, NOT options to search for all words, any words, or exclude words
  4. Click the "Add a row" link to add more search box rows, if needed
  5. Publication date range: enter dates to limit results by date
  6. Show content type: check box(es) to limit by content type, such as book, ebook, article, etc.
  7. Language: click the drop-down to limit results by language
  8. Show only: check box(es) to limit by full text, peer review, etc.
  9. Exclude from results: check box(es) to exclude specific types of sources from the results, such as newspaper articles, book reviews, etc.
  10. Expand your results: check the box to include results that the library doesn't have; this can be useful for knowing what else may be available and making interlibrary loan requests
  11. Click the "Clear Form" link if you need to clear the options and start over
  12. Click the "Back to basic search" link to return to the basic search page (main page)
  13. Click the Search button to start the search

Reviewing the Search Results

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screenshot of Charger Search results page

  1. From the top:
    • Use the search box to tweak search terms, if needed
    • Click the link for the Advanced Search, if more detailed tweaks are needed
    • Click on the folder icon for saved items (articles, ebooks, etc.)
    • Click on the menu icon for additional services
    • Look at the number of results to see if there are too few or too many
    • Click on the "Relevance" link to change the sorting option to sort by date
    • Check the box for "Add results beyond your library's collection" to show items that might be useful to request from interlibrary loan
  2. From the left-side menu:
    • Refine your source: click on options to refine results by source characteristics (full text, peer-review, etc.)
    • Content type: click on options to limit the results by content type (newspaper article, book/ebook, journal article, etc.)
    • Discipline: click on options to limit results by subject or discipline; click on the "More" link to show the full list of disciplines/subjects available
    • Publication date: enter dates to limit results to items published within a specific date range
    • Subject terms: click on options to limit results by subject terms, which are related to how the sources are indexed or categorized
    • Language: if sources are in several languages, options will appear to limit the results
  3. From the right-side options:
    • Look for definitions from Encyclopædia Britannica
    • A Related Topics section will suggest topics or phrases that the system thinks are related to your search terms; may be useful for adjusting the search when the results aren't quite right
  4. For each source:
    • Click on the "Preview" link to view a preview of the source (a panel will open below the source's title)
    • Icons: there are several icons with additional options
      • Click on the quotation mark (citation icon) for the citation generator
      • Click on the email icon to email the source information to yourself or someone else
      • Click on the folder icon to save the source to your account
      • click on the ellipses icon to export the source information to a citation manager (Zotero, etc.)
    • Availability: look for the availability or source location information
      • for print books, this will be a call number to locate the book in the library
      • for electronic sources (ebooks, articles, etc.), this will be a link to the database that has the source
    • Source title link: click on the title of the source to go to the full text for that source
      • for print books, the link will go to the library catalog

Previewing a Source

click here to view screenshot (click again to close)

screenshot of Charger Search preview panel

  1. Click on the "Preview" link to view a preview of the source
  2. If the source is an article, an abstract will appear. Otherwise, a brief excerpt from a book or longer source will appear
  3. There will also be source information that will be using for citing your source or locating print sources - publication date, call number, etc.
  4. Click on the "Permanent Link" link to view a permanent link to the source in Charger Search: All Library Database. This link will always work. (Copying the URL from the location bar in the browser won't always work because those URLs tend to time out.)
  5. Click on the "Preview" link again to close the preview

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