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SPCH 101 - Lai - Winter 2024: Search Tips

Library Quick Links

Library Home Page
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Databases (Access Anywhere!)
Databases (AccessRio)
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Below is a sample of the login screen for off-campus access to library databases.  Use your AccessRio login and password.

About the Library Databases

To see the complete list of databases, go to the Library website: Find Articles in Databases.

Search Tip - Phrase Searching

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"

Search Tip - Truncation

Use truncation (*) to find word variants. Examples:

retrieves the following:


Advertis* retrieves the following:


Teen* retrieves the following:

Related Terms and Synonyms

Use related terms/synonyms to refine your search:

Example 1:

  • Global Warming
  • Climate Change

Example 2:

  • Capital Punishment
  • Death Penalty
  • Lethal Injection

Boolean Operations Explained (AND OR NOT)

examples of Boolean searching

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.


Additional Examples

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."

Boolean Searching Video