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Urban Ecology LEAP Guide: Lesson 3 (October 30): Advanced Research: Databases

Specialized Architecture-related Databases

Cross-Discipline & Subject-Specific Databases

The following databases index interdisciplinary, scholarly literature. To search for articles limited to a specific discipline--environmental studies, sociology, psychology, economics, etc.--go to the complete list of University of Utah research databases, also linked from the Marriott Library homepage, and choose from the "Database by Subject" list.

Search Construction Tips

The following is a brief overview of various ways to construct and rework your search statement in databases. Remember that each database may vary in its search function. HELP menus in databases often provide tutorials and information about searching.


  • Use Boolean operators to construct a complex search statement  

 use AND to connect required concepts, this will narrow your search. cats AND dogs will search for records with both terms.

 use OR to connect synonyms, this will expand your search. cats OR dogs will search for records with either term.

 use NOT to omit specific terms.

  • Use the truncation symbol ( * ) after a word stem so that multiple spellings will be searched

art* will search art, arts, artists, artistic, artwork, artworks ….

  • Using “exact phrase” (quotation marks) instructs a database to search for just that -- the exact phrase. The search will not skip over small words such as a, an, the, of and so on.

"Linking Program and Concept in Land Planning and Design" -- will search for this exact title

  • Use the limiters offered by databases

limit by format, date, language, scholarly articles, full-text access, and so on



  • Use subject terms associated with citations you find most relevant as a way to revise your search statement. Subject terms are often located in the full details view or in a sidebar feature of a database or library catalog.

Refer to the selected Library of Congress Subject Terms in the left sidebar of this guide for suggestions.



  • It is generally best to be very specific when searching, that is to say, construct complex search statements using the advanced search option. In some cases, however, you'll need to back up and try a more general or broad search. The point to take away here is searching and the research process is iterative -- be patient, keep reworking your search, and consult a librarian if you're just not having any luck.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library