Use quotation marks (") around phrases to search for exact phrases or titles.
This is also handy in Google searching.
"health care reform"
"texting while driving"
"As You Like It"
Use truncation (*) to find word variants. Examples:
Adolescen* retrieves the following:
Advertis* retrieves the following:
Teen* retrieves the following:
Use related terms/synonyms to refine your search:
Boolean operators are words used to construct a logical search query. They enable you to boaden or narrow your search terms. Most databases use the Boolean operators and, or, and not and offer these options next to the search boxes.
AND searches for occurrences of all of the search terms in a single record. Example: A search for Jazz AND Blues will retrieve records containing both terms.
OR searches for records that contain any of the terms. Example: A search for Jazz OR Blues will retrieve records containing either term.
NOT searches for records that contain the first term but not the second term. Example: A search for Jazz NOT Classical will retrieve records containing the first term but not the second term.
Question: I'm interested in the relationship between poverty and crime
A search should be constructed using Poverty AND Crime. This will retrieve records in which both search terms are present. If you decided to add another search term such as Gender, this will narrow your search to Poverty AND Crime AND Gender. In the beginning, it may be more profitable to start with a broad search to see how many results you get then narrow the search.
Question: I would like information about college
A search may be constructed using College OR University since both terms are relevant. This will retrieve records in which at least one of the search terms is present.
Question: I would like information on dogs but not cats
This search, Dogs NOT Cats will retrieve records in which only one of the terms is present (dogs) but not cats.
Question: I want information about the behavior of cats
In this search, you can combine AND and OR logic: Behavior AND (Cats OR Felines)
Question: I want information about Texas but I do not want any book reviews
In this search, you would weed out book reviews with Texas NOT Book Review. By leaving the term "book review" singular, you would week out "book review" and "book reviews."