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Jewish Studies

Search Strategies

Review this guide to learn how to better plan your search in OneSearch and get the results you need.
http://libguides.csun.edu/onesearch

 

Brainstorming Keywords

Before you begin your search, compile a list of potential search terms (keywords) related to your topic.
These search terms may come from your class readings, topic lists, famous individuals or other sources that discuss the subject your are researching.  For example:

  • scholars such as Deborah Lipstadt or Sander Gilman
  • time periods such as: Rabbinic Period, World War II, the Enlightenment, 
  • movements: Zionism, reform, 
  • Leaders: Ahad Ha’am, Chaim Weizmann, Golda Meir, Stephen Samuel Wise

Using Boolean Operators

Keywords can be combined with other keywords using the AND operator to narrow your topic.  For example:

  • Issac Mayer Wise AND reform
  • Passover AND seder
  • ethel rosenberg AND espionage
  • SS St. Louis AND Roosevelt AND holocaust

Keywords can be combined with synonyms using OR to broaden your search. For example:

  • ADL OR Anti Defamation League
  • chanukah OR hanukkah
  • holocaust OR Shoah
  • deli OR delicatessen

Search Tips - Truncation & Wildcards

Truncation:

Truncation, also called stemming, is a technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings.

  • To use truncation, 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.
  • Examples: 
    histor* = history, historian, historicity, historicism, historical, historiography
    nation* = nation, nations, nationhood, nationalism
  • Truncation symbols may vary by database; common symbols include: *, !, ?, or #

 

Wildcards:

Similar to truncation, wildcards substitute a symbol for one letter of a word.

  • This is useful if a word is spelled in different ways, but still has the same meaning.
     
  • Examples: 
    wom!n = woman, women
    colo?r = color, colour