Constructing your
search
Connectors, wildcards, truncation
and proximity connectors
James Bisset james.bisset@durham.ac.uk...
Part 1
Intelligent Searching
Intelligent Searching
Broaden your search
and then
Narrow your search
Intelligent Searching
Broaden your search
Cast your net wide to ensure you don‟t
miss any potentially useful search
terms
Intelligent Searching
Narrow your search
Make sure they are the right nets you‟re
casting - you only want to return those
...
Part 2
Broaden
your
search
Broaden your search (1)
Broaden your search (1)
butterfly lepidoptera
Using “OR”: butterfly OR lepidoptera
Broaden your search (1)
butterfly lepidoptera
… will return all results which include either the term
“butterfly” or the t...
Broaden your search (1)
Most databases assume if you don‟t include the “OR”
connector, you only want results where ALL of ...
Broaden your search (1)
Most databases assume if you don‟t include the “OR”
connector, you only want results where ALL of ...
Broaden your search (2)
Broaden your search (2)
Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Pink Sherbert Photography. Original
available at http://www.flickr...
Broaden your search (2)
Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Pink Sherbert Photography. Original
available at http://www.flickr...
Broaden your search (2)
• Broadening your search
– Alternative spellings (wildcard searching)
– organi?ation will find: or...
Broaden your search (2)
• Broadening your search
– Alternative spellings (wildcard searching)
– organi?ation will find: or...
Broaden your search (2)
• Broadening your search
– Alternative spellings (wildcard searching)
– organi?ation will find: or...
Broaden your search (3)
Broaden your search (3)
• Broadening your search
– Word stems (truncation searching)
– negligen* will find:
Broaden your search (3)
• Broadening your search
– Word stems (truncation searching)
– negligen* will find:
“the police we...
Broaden your search (3)
• Broadening your search
– Word stems (truncation searching)
– negligen* will find:
“the police we...
Broaden your search (3)
• Broadening your search
– Word stems (truncation searching)
– negligen* will find:
“the police we...
Broaden your search
• Broadening your search - Summary
– The Boolean “OR” connector butterfly OR lepidoptera
– Wildcards o...
Part 3
Narrow
your
search
Narrow your search (1)
Using “AND”: term 1 AND term 2
teenage
“substance
abuse”
Narrow your search (1)
Using “AND”: teenage AND “substance abuse"
AND
Narrow your search (1)
teenage
“substance
abuse”
… will return only those results which
include both the term “teenage” an...
Narrow your search (1)
Some databases will assume
an “AND” between two terms
even if you don‟t include it...
Narrow your search (1)
Some databases will assume
an “AND” between two terms
even if you don‟t include it...
... but not a...
Narrow your search (1)
Examples include:
Power Search: Requires use of
„AND‟ connector. If not
included, searches for term...
Narrow your search (1)
Get in to the habit of using it.
Narrow your search (1)
Get in to the habit of using it.
1) Avoid mistakes.
Narrow your search (1)
Get in to the habit of using it.
1) Avoid mistakes.
2) Make cutting & pasting
your search between
d...
Narrow your search (2)
Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original available at
http://www.flickr.com/photos/...
Narrow your search (2)
Adding context:
truth
AND
reconciliation
Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original a...
Narrow your search (2)
Adding context:
Will return results where both
terms appear...
Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the ...
Narrow your search (2)
Adding context:
Will return results where both
terms appear...
Anywhere.
Via Flickr Creative Common...
Narrow your search (2)
Adding context:
Will return results where both
terms appear...
Anywhere.
They could appear several
...
Narrow your search (2)
Some databases will allow
you to use a proximity
connector...
Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the w...
Narrow your search (2)
Some databases will allow
you to use a proximity
connector...
... to only return results
where “ter...
Narrow your search (2)
Adding context:
truth
within #
reconciliation
Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Origi...
Narrow your search (2)
• Narrowing your search
– Proximity Truth within 3 reconciliation
Narrow your search (2)
• Narrowing your search
– Proximity Truth within 3 reconciliation
Narrow your search (3)
• Narrowing your search
– Phrase searching Truth and Reconciliation
Commission
Narrow your search (3)
• Narrowing your search
– Phrase searching “Truth and Reconciliation
Commission”
Narrow your search (3)
• Narrowing your search
– Phrase searching “Truth and Reconciliation
Commission”
Narrow your search (3)
• Narrowing your search
– Phrase searching “Truth and Reconciliation
Commission”
Narrow your search (3)
• Narrowing your search
– Excluding irrelevant results NOT South Africa
Narrow your search (3)
• Narrowing your search
– Excluding irrelevant results NOT South Africa
Be careful with the NOT con...
Narrow your search (3)
• Narrowing your search
– Excluding irrelevant results NOT South Africa
Be careful with the NOT con...
Narrow your search
• Broadening your search - Summary
– The “AND” connector repository AND open access
– Proximity searchi...
Narrow your search
• Broadening your search - Summary
– The “AND” connector repository AND open access
– Proximity searchi...
No standard language
Truth within 5
words reconciliation
Truth w/5
reconciliation
Truth /5
reconciliation
Truth N5
reconci...
Part 4
Pulling it all together - example
Example
Examining the impact
of crime enacted by
teenagers in the
inner city
Identify your key
concepts
Example
Examining the impact
of crime enacted by
teenagers in the
inner city
teenagers crime inner city
Identify your
keywords
These should describe, or focus
on a particular aspect of each
concept.
Think about alternative wor...
Identify your
keywords
These should describe, or focus
on a particular aspect of each
concept.
Think about alternative
wor...
Identify your
keywords
These should describe, or focus
on a particular aspect of each
concept.
Think about alternative
wor...
teenagers
youth
juvenile
adolescent
crime inner city
teenagers
youth
juvenile
adolescent
crime
shoplifting
Anti-social
behaviour
theft
inner city
teenagers
youth
juvenile
adolescent
crime
shoplifting
Anti-social
behaviour
theft
inner city
urban
cities
London
Construct your
search
Think about
wildcards, truncation and
phrase searching
Construct your
search
Think about wildcards,
truncation and phrase
searching
teen*
youth
juvenile
adolescen*
crim*
shoplift*
“Anti-social
behavio?r”
theft
“inner
city”
urban
cities
London
Construct your
search
Link your terms with
appropriate connectors
Example
teen* OR youth OR juvenile OR adolescen*
Example
(teen* OR youth OR juvenile OR adolescen*)
AND
(crim* OR shoplift* OR “anti-social behavio?r” OR
theft)
AND
(“inne...
(teen* OR youth
OR juvenile OR
adolescen*)
(“inner city”OR
urban OR
cities OR
London)
(crim* OR
shoplift* OR
“anti-social
...
(teen* OR youth
OR juvenile OR
adolescen*)
(“inner city”OR
urban OR
cities OR
London)
(crim* OR
shoplift* OR
“anti-social
...
Evaluate your search
Are you getting the results you
expected?
Evaluate your search
Are you getting the reuslts you
expected?
Can the results returned inform
your search further?
Evaluate your search
Are you getting the reuslts you
expected?
Can the results returned inform
your search further?
Identi...
Additional Image Credits
[Slide 3] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Stefan. Original available at
http://www.flickr.com/pho...
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Constructing your search

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  • This is not about critically evaluating the content and conclusions of the articles.This is about evaluating your results as a whole to identify problems with your search, or improvements you could make. - rarely will you find all the most relevant and appropriate results in your first search. Using the results you do find to identify:-Key authors, or opposing arguments, to explore furtherAlternative and additional search termsSpecific topics you might want to focus onNew avenues of research topic or methodology
  • This is not about critically evaluating the content and conclusions of the articles.This is about evaluating your results as a whole to identify problems with your search, or improvements you could make. - rarely will you find all the most relevant and appropriate results in your first search. Using the results you do find to identify:-Key authors, or opposing arguments, to explore furtherAlternative and additional search termsSpecific topics you might want to focus onNew avenues of research topic or methodology
  • This is not about critically evaluating the content and conclusions of the articles.This is about evaluating your results as a whole to identify problems with your search, or improvements you could make. - rarely will you find all the most relevant and appropriate results in your first search. Using the results you do find to identify:-Key authors, or opposing arguments, to explore furtherAlternative and additional search termsSpecific topics you might want to focus onNew avenues of research topic or methodology
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/26296445@N05/5917135851
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/26296445@N05/5917135851
  • At this point, you also need to recognise that each of these ‘concepts’ could be described in multiple ways, be phrased in different ways or cover a broad range of more focussed topics or areas of interest…
  • Can you identify any examples of terms which could be used to describe the same ‘concept’ or more focussed areas of interest / specific examples of for example, crime, you might want to focus on?
  • Here, some examples of different terms that might be used to describe the same demographic group. You also to make a judgment and evaluate the type of language most likely to be used given the type of source you might be searching. This could be the difference between the language used in a
  • Perhaps we are specifically looking at crimes related to theft, shoplifting and anti-social behaviour rather than more violent crime.
  • Using various tools we have just mentioned:-Truncation toolWildcardPhrase searching
  • Written or typed like…
  • Constructing your search

    1. 1. Constructing your search Connectors, wildcards, truncation and proximity connectors James Bisset james.bisset@durham.ac.uk Academic Liaison Librarian (Research Support)
    2. 2. Part 1 Intelligent Searching
    3. 3. Intelligent Searching Broaden your search and then Narrow your search
    4. 4. Intelligent Searching Broaden your search Cast your net wide to ensure you don‟t miss any potentially useful search terms
    5. 5. Intelligent Searching Narrow your search Make sure they are the right nets you‟re casting - you only want to return those results which are most relevant to, let the others “swim free”
    6. 6. Part 2 Broaden your search
    7. 7. Broaden your search (1)
    8. 8. Broaden your search (1) butterfly lepidoptera Using “OR”: butterfly OR lepidoptera
    9. 9. Broaden your search (1) butterfly lepidoptera … will return all results which include either the term “butterfly” or the term “lepidoptera”, as well as all results which mention both terms.
    10. 10. Broaden your search (1) Most databases assume if you don‟t include the “OR” connector, you only want results where ALL of the terms entered appear.
    11. 11. Broaden your search (1) Most databases assume if you don‟t include the “OR” connector, you only want results where ALL of the terms entered appear. e.g. “If you want to search for pages that may have just one of several words, include OR (capitalized) between the words. Without the OR, your results would typically show only pages that match both terms” https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/136861?hl=en
    12. 12. Broaden your search (2)
    13. 13. Broaden your search (2) Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Pink Sherbert Photography. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/70873497@N02/6935006104/ The problems of spelling…
    14. 14. Broaden your search (2) Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Pink Sherbert Photography. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/70873497@N02/6935006104/ The problems of spelling… Donut Doughnut
    15. 15. Broaden your search (2) • Broadening your search – Alternative spellings (wildcard searching) – organi?ation will find: organisation and alternative letters organization
    16. 16. Broaden your search (2) • Broadening your search – Alternative spellings (wildcard searching) – organi?ation will find: organisation and alternative letters organization – labo?r will find: labor and missing letters labour
    17. 17. Broaden your search (2) • Broadening your search – Alternative spellings (wildcard searching) – organi?ation will find: organisation and alternative letters organization – labo?r will find: labor and missing letters labour – d?nut donut and multiple missing letters doughnut
    18. 18. Broaden your search (3)
    19. 19. Broaden your search (3) • Broadening your search – Word stems (truncation searching) – negligen* will find:
    20. 20. Broaden your search (3) • Broadening your search – Word stems (truncation searching) – negligen* will find: “the police were accused of negligence”
    21. 21. Broaden your search (3) • Broadening your search – Word stems (truncation searching) – negligen* will find: “the police were accused of negligence” “the police were accused of acting negligently”
    22. 22. Broaden your search (3) • Broadening your search – Word stems (truncation searching) – negligen* will find: “the police were accused of negligence” “the police were accused of acting negligently” “the police were accused of being negligent”
    23. 23. Broaden your search • Broadening your search - Summary – The Boolean “OR” connector butterfly OR lepidoptera – Wildcards organi?ation labo?r – Word stems negligen* Terminology and symbols vary, depending on which database or catalogue you are using
    24. 24. Part 3 Narrow your search
    25. 25. Narrow your search (1) Using “AND”: term 1 AND term 2
    26. 26. teenage “substance abuse” Narrow your search (1) Using “AND”: teenage AND “substance abuse" AND
    27. 27. Narrow your search (1) teenage “substance abuse” … will return only those results which include both the term “teenage” and the phrase “substance abuse” AND
    28. 28. Narrow your search (1) Some databases will assume an “AND” between two terms even if you don‟t include it...
    29. 29. Narrow your search (1) Some databases will assume an “AND” between two terms even if you don‟t include it... ... but not all.
    30. 30. Narrow your search (1) Examples include: Power Search: Requires use of „AND‟ connector. If not included, searches for terms appearing as a phrase. Including the „AND‟ connector “combines search terms so that each search result contains all of the terms”. Not including runs a search against an account default setting (At Durham, this is “appearing within 5 words of”) http://support.ebsco.com.ezphost.dur.ac.uk/help/index.php?h elp_id=35
    31. 31. Narrow your search (1) Get in to the habit of using it.
    32. 32. Narrow your search (1) Get in to the habit of using it. 1) Avoid mistakes.
    33. 33. Narrow your search (1) Get in to the habit of using it. 1) Avoid mistakes. 2) Make cutting & pasting your search between databases easier.
    34. 34. Narrow your search (2) Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewavingcat/138657496/sizes/m/in/photostream/ Adding context:
    35. 35. Narrow your search (2) Adding context: truth AND reconciliation Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewavingcat/138657496/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    36. 36. Narrow your search (2) Adding context: Will return results where both terms appear... Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewavingcat/138657496/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    37. 37. Narrow your search (2) Adding context: Will return results where both terms appear... Anywhere. Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewavingcat/138657496/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    38. 38. Narrow your search (2) Adding context: Will return results where both terms appear... Anywhere. They could appear several pages apart and be unrelated. Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewavingcat/138657496/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    39. 39. Narrow your search (2) Some databases will allow you to use a proximity connector... Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewavingcat/138657496/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    40. 40. Narrow your search (2) Some databases will allow you to use a proximity connector... ... to only return results where “term 1” appears within # words of “term 2” Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewavingcat/138657496/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    41. 41. Narrow your search (2) Adding context: truth within # reconciliation Via Flickr Creative Commons, by the waving cat. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewavingcat/138657496/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    42. 42. Narrow your search (2) • Narrowing your search – Proximity Truth within 3 reconciliation
    43. 43. Narrow your search (2) • Narrowing your search – Proximity Truth within 3 reconciliation
    44. 44. Narrow your search (3) • Narrowing your search – Phrase searching Truth and Reconciliation Commission
    45. 45. Narrow your search (3) • Narrowing your search – Phrase searching “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”
    46. 46. Narrow your search (3) • Narrowing your search – Phrase searching “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”
    47. 47. Narrow your search (3) • Narrowing your search – Phrase searching “Truth and Reconciliation Commission”
    48. 48. Narrow your search (3) • Narrowing your search – Excluding irrelevant results NOT South Africa
    49. 49. Narrow your search (3) • Narrowing your search – Excluding irrelevant results NOT South Africa Be careful with the NOT connector.
    50. 50. Narrow your search (3) • Narrowing your search – Excluding irrelevant results NOT South Africa Be careful with the NOT connector. It might exclude results which offer a comparison, or include the excluded term in just a reference or footnote, which may still be of interest.
    51. 51. Narrow your search • Broadening your search - Summary – The “AND” connector repository AND open access – Proximity searching negligen* w/5 police – Phrase searching “duty of care” – Excluding terms property NOT intellectual
    52. 52. Narrow your search • Broadening your search - Summary – The “AND” connector repository AND open access – Proximity searching negligen* w/5 police – Phrase searching “duty of care” – Excluding terms property NOT intellectual Terminology and symbols vary, depending on which database or catalogue you are using...
    53. 53. No standard language Truth within 5 words reconciliation Truth w/5 reconciliation Truth /5 reconciliation Truth N5 reconciliation Truth adj5 reconciliation
    54. 54. Part 4 Pulling it all together - example
    55. 55. Example Examining the impact of crime enacted by teenagers in the inner city
    56. 56. Identify your key concepts
    57. 57. Example Examining the impact of crime enacted by teenagers in the inner city
    58. 58. teenagers crime inner city
    59. 59. Identify your keywords These should describe, or focus on a particular aspect of each concept. Think about alternative words, spellings and terminology.
    60. 60. Identify your keywords These should describe, or focus on a particular aspect of each concept. Think about alternative words, spellings and terminology.
    61. 61. Identify your keywords These should describe, or focus on a particular aspect of each concept. Think about alternative words, spellings and terminology.
    62. 62. teenagers youth juvenile adolescent crime inner city
    63. 63. teenagers youth juvenile adolescent crime shoplifting Anti-social behaviour theft inner city
    64. 64. teenagers youth juvenile adolescent crime shoplifting Anti-social behaviour theft inner city urban cities London
    65. 65. Construct your search Think about wildcards, truncation and phrase searching
    66. 66. Construct your search Think about wildcards, truncation and phrase searching
    67. 67. teen* youth juvenile adolescen* crim* shoplift* “Anti-social behavio?r” theft “inner city” urban cities London
    68. 68. Construct your search Link your terms with appropriate connectors
    69. 69. Example teen* OR youth OR juvenile OR adolescen*
    70. 70. Example (teen* OR youth OR juvenile OR adolescen*) AND (crim* OR shoplift* OR “anti-social behavio?r” OR theft) AND (“inner city”OR urban OR cities OR London)
    71. 71. (teen* OR youth OR juvenile OR adolescen*) (“inner city”OR urban OR cities OR London) (crim* OR shoplift* OR “anti-social behavio?r” OR theft)
    72. 72. (teen* OR youth OR juvenile OR adolescen*) (“inner city”OR urban OR cities OR London) (crim* OR shoplift* OR “anti-social behavio?r” OR theft) Only this subset of results returned as the most relevant.
    73. 73. Evaluate your search Are you getting the results you expected?
    74. 74. Evaluate your search Are you getting the reuslts you expected? Can the results returned inform your search further?
    75. 75. Evaluate your search Are you getting the reuslts you expected? Can the results returned inform your search further? Identify new keywords? Key authors? Focus in on a specific topic or aspect?
    76. 76. Additional Image Credits [Slide 3] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Stefan. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/49462908@N00/3951143570 [Slide 6] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Keoni Cabral. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/52193570@N04/5132652314 [Slide 24] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Rob Ellis. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/45597153@N05/5325015118 [Slide 54] Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Liza31337. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/85763206@N00/2944354763
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