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
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.
|whales AND dolphins||123 hits|
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.
|Ebola OR Marburg||172 hits|
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.
|Enteric bacteria||423 hits|
|Enteric bacteria NOT salmonella||275 hits|
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 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.
You can use a proximity search to search for two or more words that occur within a specified number of words (or fewer) of each other in the databases. Proximity searching is used with a Keyword or Boolean search.
The proximity operators are composed of a letter (N or W) and a number (to specify the number of words). The proximity operator is placed between the words that are to be searched, as follows:
Near Operator (N) - N5 finds the words if they are within five words of one another regardless of the order in which they appear.
For example, type tax N5 reform to find results that would match tax reform as well as reform of income tax.
Within Operator (W) - In the following example, W8 finds the words if they are within eight words of one another and in the order in which you entered them.
For example, type tax W8 reform to find results that would match tax reform but would not match reform of income tax.
In addition, multiple terms can be used on either side of the operator. See the following examples:
(baseball or football or basketball) N5 (teams or players)
oil W3 (disaster OR clean-up OR contamination)
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