Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Starting your research


Really, the two critical things for searching efficiently are:

  1. Be thoughtful with the search terms you choose AND how you put them into the boxes
    1. Search with only a few key concepts
    2. Do NOT search with full sentences or questions
    3. Craft your search using the correct boolean connectors, truncation symbols, and phrases (explained below).
  2. Learn to recognize which features of the database will help you get the results most useful for your situation (limiters and subjects)
  • The key to being a savvy online searcher is to use common search techniques that you can apply to almost any database, including article databases, online catalogs and even commercial search engines.
  • This is important because searching library databases is a bit different from searching Google.
  • The techniques described in this section will enable you to quickly retrieve relevant information from the thousands of records in a database.
  • When you search a database and do not get the results you expect, ask for advice.  Library staff are happy to help you find what you need.


Crumb Library: 315-267-2485
Crane Library: 315-267-2451

Text Us! (Mon-Fri, 10 - 4): 315-277-3730

Social Media

College Libraries


SUNY Potsdam College Libraries
44 Pierrepont Ave
Potsdam, NY 13617