Skip to Main Content

Searching Databases: Reading Database Search Results

Tips to help you get the best results from your database searches.

Search Results Example

This is a sample of the information that generally appears in a search result display. Keep in mind that different databases may display results differently. 


Introduction to Search Results

Understanding your search results can be challenging because different databases display the results in a different manner.

Here are the most common elements of a search results display:

Citation: This includes specific information about the publication of this article. Typical citation elements include: Author, Title of Article, Title of Journal, volume number, issue number, pages, name of database, date of access.

Subjects: This is a list of subjects that have been assigned to describe the article.

PDF Full Text: This indicates a link that will take you to the full-text of the article. The article is a PDF image of the original article as it appeared in the print source. 

HTML Full Text:  This indicates a link that will take you to the full-text of the article. The artilce has been recreated as an html page, and will not look exactly as it did in the original publication, but all of the text is present.

More Full-Text Options/Interibrary Loan: When you click this link, the computer will search to see if the article is available in full-text in any of the library's other databases. If it is not, this link allows you to access ILLiad so you can request that Cayuga library obtain the article for you from another library.

Relevancy:  This rating is the database's estimate of how closely this article matches your search request.

Additional  Links: Most databases provide additional options for what one can do with the search results. Sometimes these options are listed with each search results entry, and sometimes they are listed elsewhere on the page in a menu bar.

  • Print - allows one to print the search results
  • Email - allows one to email the search results
  • Save to a folder - allows one to create a folder of relevant search results
  • Download - allows one to download the selected search results to a file