Searching databases is a little like shooting at a target in a darkened room. Successful searching means correctly guessing the words that relevant records contain. Begin by putting your query into a sentence or phrase, and then think of alternate terms that might be used for each of your key terms and concepts. Once you have done that, the six tools below can help you to focus your search to get the results you want. They apply in most cases to all the databases you will encounter, and knowing that a particular database does not support one or more of them can help you find the best strategy for mining its content.