Library Databases use keyword searching. Do not search with sentences (natural language searching), such as, "How do I find research papers on the tree octopus." Start with the most specific words or phrases, and then get broader. In this example, you only need to put in the words "tree octopus"
You can start your search process by writing down a thesis sentence describing your topic,
KEYWORDS or KEYWORD PHRASES are words or phrases that describe your topic.
Usually descriptive adjective and nouns.
When you do a keyword search in a library database, it searches minimally, the
This is an algebraic concept, but don't let that scare you away. Boolean connectors are all about sets. There are three little words that are used as Boolean connectors:
Think of each keyword as having a "set" of results that are connected with it. These sets can be combined to produce a different "set" of results. You can also exclude certain "sets" from your results by using a Boolean connector.
AND is a connector that requires both words to be present in each record in the results. Use AND to narrow your search.
The words 'whales' and 'dolphins' will both be present in each record.
OR is a connector that allows either word to be present in each record in the results. Use OR to expand your search.
Either "ebola" OR "Marburg" (or both) will be present in each record.
NOT is a connector that requires the first word be present in each record in the results, but only if the record does not contain the second word.
So a search for enteric bacteria that excludes salmonella would look like this
? A question mark is called a wild card. In a search, it replaces one character within a word.
* An asterisk ( a star) is used for truncation. It is always placed at the end. It searches for all words that start with the root phrase before the pound sign. The * represents any number of letters at the end of the word. Some databases call a search with a "star" a wildcard search.
" " Quotation marks around a phrase means the search engine will view it as one word. For example, the search for the two keywords, student debt would bring back results for all the articles that mention the word student, and the word debt. If you put quotes around the phrase "student debt," the search engine will return only result for the exact phrase "student debt" -- a much more useful set of results.
Scholarly Peer-Reviewed are journals with a peer-review editorial process.
Academic journals are publications that have articles with footnotes and/or bibliographies, and are intended for a research audience.
All scholarly peer-reviewed journals are academic journals. Not all academic journals are have peer-reviewed articles