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Advanced Research Tips

  • Searching Databases
    • AND    : narrows the search by finding records with both terms
    • OR      : broadens the search by finding records with either term
    • NOT    : narrows the search by finding records with 1st term but not 2nd

  • Truncation
    • Use the asterisk (*) to stand in for all word endings
      • e.g. forest*  for forest, forests, forestry, forester, etc.

  • Searching by Phrase
    • Place an exact phrase in quotes

  • Subject Terms
    • Special indexing terms that may differ from one database to another
    • Found in each record and also on the left by clicking on  “Subjects”
    • Once subject terms for a database have been identified, can change search fields from “Select a Field” to “SU Subjects” (exact wording can vary by database)

  • Limit by Year
    • Can be done on the initial search screen or (in EBSCO databases) by using the slider on the right in the results

  • Sort by Relevance
    • The database will re-sort the database and try to bring the most relevant articles to the top of the results list.

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