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.

Student Library Services: Research Help

APPsearch and Databases

Tips for Using Appsearch and Library Databases

Success for using APPsearch or individual databases relies on having a focused research question or idea of what you're trying to find. Here are some tips:

  • Before you start, brainstorm a list of keywords on your topic to use in searches. Keywords are vocabulary terms specific to a topic (and related synonyms). Remember the 5 W's.
  • Don't type questions into the search box. Keep your searches direct and simple using different combinations of keywords.
  • If you click the yellow "Find @ ASU" button and get a message saying your article or book was not found, try checking Google Scholar for it first. Then, contact a librarian if you can't access it.
  • Use the built-in filters to narrow down overwhelming numbers of search results by date, source type (academic journal newspaper, etc.), and more.
  • Save your research by emailing sources to yourself or downloading directly to your device. Do not bookmark or copy/paste URLs from your browser address bar.
  • Most databases offer auto-generated citations in a wide variety of styles for you to copy/paste but doube-check them for errors.

Keep in mind that library databases don't work the same as Google. Interfaces and specific features will vary from database to database but if you can use one, you can use them all. If you get stuck, check out our video tutorials or contact a librarian!

Request an Appointment with a Librarian

If you need research assistance online, there are several ways you can contact a librarian:

Ask a Question/Make a Comment

RAP Session (Request Research Assistance)

Contact a Librarian

Service phone numbers

  • Library Service Desk (Circulation and Research Assistance): 828-262-2818.
  • Digital Media Studio: 828-262-8681
  • Instructional Materials Center (IMC): 828-262-7361
  • Interlibrary Loan: 828-262-2826
  • Library Administration: 828-262-2188
  • Music Library: 828-262-2388
  • Special Collections Resource Center: 828-262-4041
  • Technology Checkout Desk: 828-262-8681
  • University Writing Center: 828-262-3144

Writing Assistance

Need assistance with your writing?

The University Writing Center is a free resource available to all Appalachian State University students and faculty as well as members of the Boone community. If the building is closed, online appointments are available.