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Research Tips and Tricks

Developing A Search Strategy

When searching for resources, DO NOT enter the whole research question. 

Unlike a Google search, a journal article database cannot sort through all the words, and the results will be all over the place, or you will get no results.

The best method is to create a search strategy using keywords.


Click here for more information about keywords.

Search String

Most databases allow you to search for multiple terms in one search, rather than searching them separately.

This is done using Boolean operators.

There are two main Boolean operators:


The AND operator allows you to combine 2 or more
different concepts into one search. 
Your results list will
include only those items where both subjects are present.

The OR operator allows you to search for 2
or more synonyms. 
All results will contain
either or both of these terms within them.

Sample Boolean Search

Here is a sample search strategy. First we will consider the synonyms and combine them using the OR operator:

               Video Games OR Call of Duty

               Children OR child OR kids

              violence OR aggression

Now we can combine our search terms into one search statement using the AND operator:

               (Video Game OR Call of Duty) AND 
               (Children OR child OR kids) AND 
violence OR aggression)

At this point, our search strategy is complete and we can apply it to a database.



Source and Source



Videos About Boolean Searching