- A good way to start a search.
- The important concepts in your own words.
- Found anywhere in the article (title, author, subject terms, etc.).
- Very flexible.
Try Boolean Operators...
- "Or" broadens your search results. (Citrus OR Oranges OR Lemons OR Tangerines OR Grapefruit)
- "And" narrows your search results. (Rainfall AND Deforestation AND Brazil)
- "Not" narrows your search results. (Wound healing NOT Plants) (Social media NOT Facebook)
- "Not" can be used to weed out biased words or phrases associated with your topic. (immigrants NOT illegal aliens)
- Combine operators for more complex searching. (Coastal sage scrub AND fire OR Postfire OR Postburn)
- Broadens your search
- Enter the root of a word and put the truncation symbol at the end.
- The database will return results that include any ending of that root word. (teen* = teens, teenager, teenagers, teenaged. environment* = environments, environmental, environmentalist)
- Broadens your search.
- Use if a word can be spelled several different ways but has the same meaning.
- Wom*n = women, woman, col*r = color, colour
Limit to Peer-Reviewed, Refereed or Scholarly articles...
- This is part of the publication & editorial process for academic and research journals. Being peer-reviewed is a sign that a paper's author(s) have done a certain level of due diligence in their work and their research is complete, manages conflicts-of-interest, and is fair and objective.
Narrow the Date Range...
- When looking for Current Research or Evidence-Based Practices limit your date range to the last 3-5 years.
One way to keep track of your research results is to use a research log. This way you will remember where you searched, the keywords you used, and how many results you got.