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Database Searching Tips

What are Library Databases?

Library databases

  • are paid for by the library. Students, faculty, and staff have access to them while affiliated with the College. 
  • require your MyRCC username and password for access from home or any device not owned by RCC.
  • are available online, 24/7.
  • provide access to journal, magazine and newspaper articles.
  • provide access to audio visual resources: pictures, videos, tutorials.
  • are subject specific.
  • search many sources at the same time.
  • are a source of reliable information.

How library databases differ from Google and the free Web

  • Reviewed: experts on a subject peer-review the content or editors review the articles
  • Content specific: find a database specific to your area of research and cut out the resources you don't need
  • Timeline: access to current and older information

Keys to Good Searching

A key to getting good search results is to use common search techniques that you can apply to almost any database, including article databases, online library catalogs and even commercial search engines.

When you don't get the results you expect, ask a librarian for advice. We love to help you find what you need. You can also look for the Help or ? icons in individual databases.

Select a database, use good keywords, set a date range, use Boolean operators, limit to scholarly, get the citation


"Thank you" to the following libraries for allowing us to use their content:

  • Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology Libraries, United Arab Emirates
  • Johns Hopkins SAIS Mason Library, Washington, DC
  • Trible Library, Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA