Additional Search Tips
- Stop Words
Words such as in, as, and a will
not be recognized by the database and are not necessary. Use only key topic
terms and string them together using Boolean operators. Your search should
not be a sentence.
- Use Quotes
intelligence AND tests, will not find the exact
same results as "intelligence tests". Quotes around
a phrase tells the database to retrieve only the results with both words in
the order that you typed them.
- Eliminate Punctuation
Punctuation is not necessary and often skews the result list or causes no
records to be found.
- Start Broad
Begin with one or two terms, then add or subtract terms until you have a workable
- Leave Yourself Plenty of Time
There is no way to get the perfect result list. When doing research there
will always false hits. A researcher will have to weed through many "wrong
articles" before finding the "right" one.
- Use Subject Terms
Subject terms (also called descriptors), are a controlled vocabulary used
to link articles on the same topic. Once you have a good article dealing with
your topic, look at the subject terms for the article. Usually listed after
the citation or at the end of the article, the subject terms can be used for
an additional search or to refine your current search.
You can search for plural forms of words as well as words with the same stem:
You truncate by inserting an * (asterisk) directly after the search term:
- airplane, airplanes
- teen, teens, teenagers
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