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Keyword Searching: Advanced Techniques

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  • 1. KEYWORD SEARCHING: ADVANCED TECHNIQUES Kris Jacobson, GBS Library January 2012
  • 2. Google Search Tips
  • 3. Basic Search: Natural Language Searching  Method used for most Google searches  Searches for terms in close proximity  Not the most powerful searching method for most searches
  • 4. Advanced search techniques yield better results  Use quotation marks for phrases: “civil rights”  Combine terms for more specific results: “temperance movement” women will get more targeted results than temperance  Use OR for synonyms, related terms, and alternate spellings : Mao Tse-Tung OR Mao Zedong  Use site: to limit results to certain domain types (.edu, .org, .gov):
  • 5. Searching in GBS Library Databases
  • 6. General search tips Just as with Google searching: Use quotation marks for phrase searches Combining terms will yield more targeted results
  • 7. Boolean Searching violence AND television AND is used to narrow a search. This will retrieve records that have both keywords. college OR university OR is used to expand a search. This will retrieve records that have either keyword. It’s useful for synonyms. sports NOT professional NOT is used to narrow a search. This will not retrieve records that have the unwanted keyword.
  • 8. Use Truncation  Truncation symbols are used at the end of word stems and allow you to find all words beginning with the same root.  The asteriskor star(* ) is most commonly used  Example: educat* will find educate, educating, education, educational, educator, educators, etc.  Works in the GBS Databases, not Google
  • 9. Use the Advanced Search Screen in the GBS Databases  Improves your results  Gives more control over search  Most “advanced search” screens in databases have easy-to-use Boolean interface  Go beyond Boolean and truncation. Use advanced features to get more targeted results (e.g., restricting searches to Scholarly/Professional resources, restricting searches to specific article types, etc.)
  • 10. Advanced Search Screen
  • 11. Use Parentheses (Nesting)  Use parentheses when searching multiple terms in multiple rows. Make sure to close off each set of parentheses.
  • 12. Use subject suggestions to modify searches  Use subject headings to narrow your search or just for new keyword ideas:
  • 13. Need Research Help?  Come to the Reference Desk anytime from 7:00 am to 3:15 pm school days.  Use our * New* Reference Chat service (linked from the GBS LibGuides homepage) from 8:00 am to 3:15 pm school days.  Email us anytime!

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