Skip to Main Content

Student Research Guide

Select the right tools to find the information you need.

How to search...

Where do I start?

There are several places for you to start searching the databases. We will go through each one and you can decide which is best for you. 

To access the databases you MUST always go through the library homepage! This is your golden ticket into the databases. 

You can access the databases from home and you will be asked for your S-number and a pin. The pin is the month and day of your birthday, so if you were born on July 4th, your pin will be 0704.

From the library homepage you will be given options on where you would like to start searching. Each topic will be covered separately when you click on the link on the left. Here we will cover each topic generally.

In the middle of the page you will see a box that says Search the Library. Here you have the option to search everything, including books and eBooks or you can click the tab that says Articles and search for articles in all the databases. This type of searching is using EDS or EBSCO Discovery Service. It may find articles that you won't find when searching databases separately.

Look to the right and you will see boxes called eBooks, Library Catalog, Research Guides, and Article Databases. eBooks are the collection of electronic books that the library has access to. The library catalog will connect you to the catalog that will search for print books. Research Guides are basically mini web pages for certain subjects. You may find your subject here. Article databases will take you a list of all of the databases.


Searching in a database is different than using Google. Typically in Google you can use phrases or ask questions. Databases are structured differently and you will need to identify search terms to use. Search terms are the key words from your topic or thesis. While searching the internet allows for more flexibility in your word choice, the results may not be what you are actually looking for. Start your research by selecting the words most relevant to your topic, these will become your search terms. 

Another thing to consider, websites are not always kept up to date or they may just disappear altogether. If this happens, you have lost your source. It is up to you to check the dates and the credentials of the creator. (See CRAAP Scorecard below) 


Databases Google
–Already checked for accuracy and authority.
–Information may be misleading and/or incorrect.
–Our databases are paid for, the information are free to you.
–Is not always free, some sites require payment.
–Information is stable.
–Websites come and websites go...
–Organized to help you find the information you need.
–Billions of hits…do you have time?
–Easier to refine your topic.
–Google searches can be confusing.


Pikes Peak State College Libraries
Information ∞ Inquiry ∞ Learning