Searching efficiently and effectively is more than just putting words in a search box. It is understanding the kind of resource you are searching, how it is constructed and programmed to interpret your search terms, and how you might get the most out of it. The materials on this tab give you information on how to improve your searching.
What do your search terms match up against? How will knowing that affect the strategy you use when searching a database as opposed to Google?
When you enter terms into a search box in an internet search engine, the library catalog, or a subscription database, you may actually be searching one or more of the following:
Understanding what you are searching helps you become a smart searcher. Using Boolean Logic allows you to "talk to the computer" and get the results you want! So what is Boolean Logic, anyway?
Boolean logic - use AND, OR, NOT (sometimes AND NOT) to connect two or more search terms:
Phrases in Quotes - most databases and web search engines allow you to search for exact phrases by placing them in quotes:
Truncation - the library catalog and most databases use special characters to make searching easier in certain situations. Check the help screens in the catalog or database you are using to see what the special characters are for that resource.
Nesting - use parentheses to sort out the elements of a more complex Boolean search phrase, especially when you may want to search for more than one related term for one element of your phrase:
Please see the video below for more detailed information: