Check out these tips for searching any database, even search engines like Google.
- Try Boolean Search Operators
When you use a search bar, you’re asking a computer a question. You can make the most out of a computer’s processing by using rules to better define your search. Boolean operators — AND, OR and NOT — are some rules you can use.
- ANDreturns the overlapping results between two search terms to narrow search results. For example, searching chair AND leather will return only results that include both terms.
- ORreturns results that include one or more search terms to broaden search results. For example, searching chair OR leather will return more results having to do with chairs and leather.
- NOTeliminates terms from search results. For example, searching chair NOT leather will return results about chairs, but none that include leather.
- Try Phrase Searches
Perform a phrase search by enclosing a string of words in quotation marks. By doing this, you retrieve more specific results. To see how this works, try searching “fine press books” with and without the quotation marks.
- Try Truncation
A truncation mark is a symbol used to search the many forms of a word. Different databases use different truncation marks, but the asterisk (*) is commonly used. In databases that use the asterisk for truncation, searching librar* will return results including library, libraries and librarians.