The search strategies below apply to most book catalogues and article databases. Understanding how to construct an advanced search will save you time and help you to retrieve the most relevant information.
Look at your research question and identify the most important terms (also known as keywords):
Think of other similar words, root words or forms of the same word:
You may need to narrow or broaden your search. One method is to choose more specific or more general keywords:
Once you have selected some keywords, you can combine them with Boolean operators. Catalogues and databases respond to this type of logic.
|to narrow||online AND privacy|
|to broaden||internet OR online|
|to limit||NOT email|
|to search for a phrase||"privacy settings" ...only retrieves the two words together|
|for alternate spellings||e?mail ...retrieves e-mail or email|
|or.||for different word endings||protect* ...retrieves protect, protection, protected, etc.|
Many databases allow you to narrow your search by document type. Consider the type of information you are looking for to narrow your search.
Magazine, Newspaper, Book, Reports, Scholarly Journals, Trade Journals, Conference Papers, e-Book, Audio Visual, etc.
Annual Report, Case Study, Statistics, Government Information, Interview, Image, News, Review, Standard, SWOT, Company Report, Country Report, Industry Report, Working Paper, etc.