Variety of terms: If you are looking for items on the "movies," use additional keywords such as "film," "films," "cinema," or "motion pictures."
An example of retrieving results unrelated to your topic (false drops): using the keyword "cricket" will retrieve items about the sport as well as the insect.
Some databases allow for wild cards to be embedded within a word to replace a single character. For instance, you can also use the question mark (?) within a word to replace a character. For example:
wom?n will retrieve woman or women
Boolean operators are words (or, and, not) used to connect search terms to expand (or) or narrow (and, not) a search within a database to locate relevant information. Boolean operators are also called logical operators or connectors.
It is helpful to diagram the effects of these operators:
women or females
|Or retrieves records that contain any of the search terms. It expands the search. Therefore, use "or" in between terms that have the same meaning (synonyms) or equal value to the search.|
women and media
|And retrieves records that contain all of the search terms. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "and" in between terms that are required to make the search specific.|
image not weight
|Not eliminates records that contain a search term. It narrows or limits the search. Therefore, use "not" in front of a term to ensure that the search will not include that term. Warning: Some databases use "and not" instead of "not." Check the database help screen.|
Use AND between terms to narrow your search
Use OR and/or truncate (*, ?) words to broaden your search
Note: check online help for the correct truncation symbol
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