This video tutorial gives a generic discussion of search tools used in many library databases. Not every database uses all these tools.
It is important to determine how to apply these search tools in the specific database relevant to your writing and research. Lehigh's library guides help you identify relevant databases for your particular topic. Go to the library homepage and then click on the "How to..." link.
Here is a National Library of Medicine's (NLM) tutorial about searching the PubMed interface. PubMed is a freely accessible search database for medically related literature. Although PubMed is free on the web, make sure you access it off Lehigh's library homepage, since you will then see Lehigh Links (mentioned in the Web of Science tutorial).
In the NLM tutorial, the presenter shows you how a PubMed search is mapped into a controlled search vocabulary (thesaurus). The terms in this vocabulary are used in PubMed to index articles, therefore providing a very focused way of searching. You can search in PubMed itself or go directly to the MeSH database.
Some other tutorials are these:
--When you search PubMed, look at the documentation about it. For example, look at these sections in the table of contents.
--When you search a topic in the MeSH database (MeSH=Medical Subject Headings), you can limit the search to aspects of the topic Say you want to find literature diagnostic imagining of the brain. You can search on "Brain" in the MeSH, then check off "diagnostic imaging" in the list of subtopics.
--If you notice that MeSH is not picking up the most recent results, if there is a delay in assigning MeSH headers, try other search approaches.