Use AND in a search to:
- narrow your results
- tell the database that ALL search terms must be present in the resulting records
- for example, Dogs AND cats – results containing those two keyword
- For example, Google automatically puts an AND in between your search terms.
- connect two or more similar concepts (synonyms)
- broaden your results, telling the database that ANY of your search terms can be present in the resulting records
- for example, Dogs OR cats – broadens results
Use NOT in a search to:
- exclude words from your search
- narrow your search, telling the database to ignore concepts that may be implied by your search terms
- for example, (Dogs AND cats) NOT puppies – narrows results
There are extra tools you can use to help refine your search strategy, these are called wildcards and truncation.
Truncation help by broadening your keyword search by attaching to the root of a word, this is usually done by adding an asterisk to the end of the root of a word.
Child* = children, children’s, child’s, childhoodWildcards are useful when multiple spellings of a word can affect your search. Remember, the symbol of the wildcard may change depending on which database you use.
coloni?e = colonise, colonize
Wom!n = woman, women
For more information visit Info Skills Road Trip - Search Strategy libguide.
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