Research Series: Finding Articles in Library Databases

Did you know that NOVA Libraries gives you access to thousands of journal, newspaper, and magazine articles that are housed in over 100 databases? The good news is it’s pretty likely that we have information on the subject you are researching. The bad news? It could be a little overwhelming.

This short 5 minute video will introduce you to library databases and give you some search tips.

NOVA Online-Searching Library Databases

And, as always, if you need help finding information or using any library resources, we’re here to help. E-mail your NOVA Online Library staff at NOVA



What do the pictures above have in common? Here’s a hint: each one can be found in Britannica’s ImageQuest database.

If you’ve ever needed to add an image to an assignment and you weren’t sure where to look, ImageQuest is a great place to start. All the images are free to use for personal, non-commercial use.

All you need to access ImageQuest is your myNOVA username and password. If you need help using this database, please contact the library at NOVA  Happy searching!

Resource Review: Business Source Complete

image of two business women greeting

Business Source Complete offers great information from thousands of scholarly business journals. Whether you are doing research for a class assignment or getting background information on a potential investment, Business Source Complete can help.

Business Source Complete provides case studies, SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analyses, market research reports, industry profiles and more. To log in to Business Source Complete, use your myNOVA username and password.

Below you will find a brief video introduction to Business Source Complete:

If you need more help, please contact the library at NOVA Happy Searching!

Research Series: Search Strategies

In a previous Research Series post, we learned to identify keywords for our research. Once we have our keywords, then we can begin searching a database.

In order to find information in a database, you must create a search string. A search string is a combination of keywords and search operators (e.g. AND, OR, *) that tells the database the information you want to receive. Here are a few tips:

1. Use quotation marks ( ”  “ ) around phrases (two or more words); this tells the database to look for the words in a specific order.

global warming

2. Put the word AND between each new keyword or phrase; this tells the database to look for resources with ALL your keywords.

“global warming” AND atmosphere

3. Put the word OR between two or more keywords to find articles that use common synonyms for your topic.

“global warming” OR “climate change”

4. Use an asterisk ( * ) to find multiple versions of one keyword.  For example, using pollut* as a search term will include results that refer to pollute, pollutes, polluted, polluting, and pollution.


Here are some examples of search strings in two NOVA databases:

Proquest Research Library

image of this search string in Proquest Research Library database: ("global warming" OR "climate change") AND atmoshpere

Academic Search Complete

image of this search string in Academic Search Complete database: "global warming" OR "climate change" AND pollut*

As always, if you need more help creating a search string or anything related to research, please contact the NOVA Online Library. Happy searching!

Resource Review: Opposing Viewpoints

image of an umpire referring betwen two menDuring your time at NOVA, you may be asked to write about a controversial issue. For example, a teacher assigns an argumentative essay assignment on global warming. To begin your research, start with the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database.

The Opposing Viewpoints in Context database offers opinion/editorial articles on each topic as well as academic, reference, magazine, and website articles. Use this database to understand different perspectives on debated topics in both your academic and personal life.

If you need help using this database, contact the library at NOVA Happy searching!

screen caption of the Opposing VIewpoints database

RESOURCE REVIEW: Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center

Happy National Career Development Month! A great resource to help you explore career options is Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center database provided by NOVA’s library.

Ferguson’s offers 3 major resources:

 Job and Industry Profiles picture  Job Hunting and Workplace Skills  Career and Industry Resources picture
Use the Job and Industry Profiles section to find detailed profiles of more than 3,000 jobs in over 94 industries. Use the Job-hunting and Workplace Skills section to learn valuable information for finding employment including tips on: etiquette, teamwork, resume writing, and leadership. Use the Career and Industry Resources section to find resources devoted to college and career advancement including scholarships, fellowships, internships and apprenticeships.

Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center offers everything above and more, including a career interest assessment. So, whether you are just starting out, you are interested in advancing your career, or you would like to change fields this database has something for you. Happy searching!

Need more guidance? Contact your career services counselor .


Let’s say you wanted to look up the U.S. Supreme Court Case involving Apple Computer and Microsoft. Where would you go? Luckily, NOVA has a database for that!

LexisNexis offers court documents on thousands of American legal cases. You can search by citation (513 U.S. 1184), parties (Apple v Microsoft), or topic (interstate commerce).

However, LexisNexis is not just for legal cases. You can find information on U.S. and world news and research on over 80 million companies!

If you need help using this database, contact me at NOVA and/or view this video tutorial. Happy searching!

Picture of LexisNexis Homepage