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Researching COVID-19: Resources

Find scholarly & popular articles from the library databases

Sample Research Questions

  • To what extent are masks effective against COVID-19 transmission?  To what extent have they been effective in other pandemics?
  • What are best practices for stimulating the economy during difficult economic times e.g. during a pandemic?
  • How are the elderly impacted when their face-to-face interactions with family and friends are limited?
  • What power should governments use to trace human movement in order to ensure public health and safety?
  • How might student learning be impacted if K-12 schools do not reopen in fall 2020?




  • Nurses
  • Other hospital or medical office staff
  • Business owners
  • Restaurant owners
  • Dentists
  • Children
  • Elderly
  • Cancer patients
  • Family of those in nursing homes
  • Funeral directors
  • Consumers
  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Essential workers
  • Travel industry / event planning industry
  • College students
  • Governors
  • Local government officials
  • Prisoners
  • Black community
  • Those with diabetes, heart issues or other underlying health conditions
  • Colleges
  • Elementary, middle and high schools
  • Day care centers
  • Hospitals / doctor offices
  • Assisted living facilities & nursing home
  • Prisons
  • Recreational facilities
  • At home
  • Outdoor spaces (parks)
  • Richmond, VA
  • Virginia
  • Southeast
  • United States
  • Another country
  • Worldwide

Health / Biology

  • Stress, anxiety, mental health, psychological health
  • Immune system
  • Anti-viral agents
  • Vaccines / vaccination
  • Transmission routes
  • Transmission rates
  • Telehealth
  • Level of care for other health concerns
  • Herd immunity

Economics & Management

  • Labor, unemployment, working from home
  • Childcare
  • Disaster risk management
  • Distribution networks e.g. supplies
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing, distribution, shortages
  • Public health infrastructure
  • Hospital infrastructure / preparedness
  • Lost income implications
  • Stimulus check implications; small business loans

Behavioral & Social Responses

  • Governing
  • Purchasing behaviors
  • Technology use
  • Recreational behavior
  • Digital sociality
  • Communication methods
  • Social distancing
  • Level of risk-taking

Protection & Preparation

  • Re-entry plans
  • Hospital practices
  • Contact tracing
  • Testing protocols
  • Cohorts
  • Handwashing
  • Safety of X activity (visiting the dentist)
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Masks
  • Flattening the curve
  • Mitigation strategies


  • Social justice
  • Ethics of resource allocation (mask, ventilators) during shortages
  • Visitation restrictions
  • Monitoring / surveillance e.g. GPS tracking
  • Misinformation
  • Internet access (equity)
  • Racial disparities


  • Teaching methods
  • Community building online
  • Best practices
  • Online vs. Face to Face
  • Laptop lending programs

Adapted with permission from UC Merced Library.

Boolean Operators/Connectors


Type AND between your keywords to narrow your search. The database or search engine will only retrieve those articles or web pages that contain both words. Using AND will decrease the number or hits or articles or web pages in your result list.

Example: school AND crime

Note: Some databases and search engines (such as Google and Craigslist) allow you to type a plus sign (+) in front of a keyword when doing a basic search. This works the same as AND.

Example: +school +crime


School And Chrime search


OR Type OR between your keywords to broaden your search. The database or search engine will retrieve those articles or web pages that contain at least one of these words. Using OR will increase the number of articles or web pages in your result list (especially if not used in combination with AND or NOT). Use OR between keywords that are synonyms or have similar meanings. Example: baby OR infant


Search for Baby or Infant


Type NOT before a keyword to exclude that keyword from your search. Using NOT will decrease the number of articles or web pages in your result list. The best use of NOT is when you are searching for a keyword that may have multiple meanings.

Example: bat NOT baseball


Search for bat Not base ball

Combining Boolean Operators

Use parentheses ( ) to keep combination searches in order. In the example below, the database or search engine will retrieve articles or web pages that must contain the word law and at least one of the words in parentheses.

Example: (ecstasy OR mdma) AND law


Search combining law ecstasy mdma


Truncation, also known as stemming, uses a character such as asterisk (*) or question mark (?) at the end of a word, which allows you to search for a root form of a word and pick up any ending.

Example: typing teen* will find teen, teens, teenage, teenager, teenagers.


  • Be careful not to end the stem or root of a word too early to retrieve too many results. Example: typing cat* will find cat, cats, catalog, catastrophe, catsup, etc.
  • Different databases use different symbols to truncate words. However, most of our popular databases, such as our library catalog (QuickSearch), Academic Search Complete and Access World News (NewsBank) use an asterisk (*) as their truncation symbol. If in doubt, check the "Help" screen for the truncation symbol.
  • Some search engines, such as Yahoo! and Google, automatically use truncation without you having to type a truncation symbol.

Wildcard Symbols

Wildcard symbols can be typed in place of a letter or letters within a keyword if you are not sure of the spelling or if there are different forms of the root word.

Example: wom?n will find both women and woman.

Note: Again, check the Help or Tips links available on most library databases and Internet search engines to verify the wildcard symbol that should be used - usually an asterisk (*) or question mark (?)

Exact Phrase Searching

To look for an exact phrase, use quotation marks (" ") around the keywords.

Example: "attention deficit disorder”

Note: this works in most search engines as well. If you type an exact phrase without quotations when doing a basic search, most search engines will look for each word separately. This means your result list will include web pages that not only contain the exact phrase (ex: attention deficit disorder) but also web pages that contain a word or words from the exact phrase appearing separately (ex: attention may appear in one paragraph or sentence and disorder will appear in another paragraph or sentence).



Use My Reynolds username and password to access library databases from off-campus

If you click on any Reynolds Library database link from off-campus, you will get a Virginia's Community Colleges login screen first.  Login with the same username and password you use for accessing any services through My Reynolds (e.g., Canvas). After you login, you will get the database search screen.

If you are a student currently enrolled in a Reynolds course, and cannot login from off campus, please email Will Weaver (Web Services Librarian) or call 804.523.5323.


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