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Constructing your search

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Mini slideshow for use in web pages at http://www.dur.ac.uk/library/research/doing/findinginfo/searching/tools/

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Constructing your search

  1. 1. Constructing your search: Connextors, wildcards, truncation & proximity connectors Contact Details Academic Liaison Librarian (Researcher Support) james.bisset@durham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (191) 334 1589
  2. 2. Part 1 Effective Searching
  3. 3. - Define your information need - Broaden your search - Narrow your search - Evaluate your results - Make your results work for you Effective Searching
  4. 4. Part 2 “TurtleLover98l” https://pixabay.com/en/baseball-glove-ball-sports-catch-858367/
  5. 5. Broaden your search (1) Alternative terms a) Synonyms b) Changes in terminology (2) Alternative spelling a) Francophone and American English spellings b) Style Guides (3) Word stems
  6. 6. Broaden your search (1) Alternative terms (Boolean connectors) a) Synonyms b) Changes in terminology (2) Alternative spelling (Wildcards) a) Francophone and American English spellings b) Style Guides (3) Word stems (Truncation tools)
  7. 7. Alternative Terms Synonyms: Using “OR” inebriation OR intoxication inebriation intoxication
  8. 8. Alternative Terms Synonyms: Using “OR” … will return all results which include either the term inebriation or the term intoxication, as well as all results which mention both terms. inebriation intoxication
  9. 9. Synonyms: Using “OR” Many databases assume if don’t include the “OR” connector, you only want results where ALL of the terms entered appear. e.g. sddsfsdsdfsdfsdfsdfsdf “If you want to search for paghes that may have just one several words, include OR (capitalised) 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 Alternative Terms
  10. 10. Alternative Terms Synonyms: Using “OR” Some databases assume if don’t include the “OR” connector, you only want results where the terms appear exactly next to each other, like a phrase. e.g. dffffffdfffffffffffffffffff
  11. 11. Alternative Spellings Think about Americanised and Francophone word spellings: • colour or color • centre or center • licence or license • organised or organized
  12. 12. Alternative Spellings Style guides: Guardian : al-Qaida Sunday Times : al-Qaeda
  13. 13. Alternative Spellings Via Flickr Creative Commons, by Pink Sherbert Photography. Original available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/70873497@N02/6935006104/ Donut Doughnut - 76,855 results in Discover - 79,894 results in Discover - Either / Or = 94,447 results in Discover
  14. 14. Alternative Spellings • Wildcards – organi?ation will find: organisation and alternative letters organization – labo?r will find: labor and missing letters labour – d?nut will find: donut and multiple missing letters doughnut
  15. 15. Word stems • Truncation tools – Word stems (truncation searching) – negligen* will find:
  16. 16. • Truncation tools – Word stems (truncation searching) – negligen* will find: “Police were accused of negligence” Word stems
  17. 17. • Truncation tools – Word stems (truncation searching) – negligen* will find: “Police were accused of negligence” “Police were accused of acting negligently” Word stems
  18. 18. • Truncation tools – Word stems (truncation searching) – negligen* will find: “Police were accused of negligence” “Police were accused of acting negligently” “Police were accused of being negligent” Word stems
  19. 19. Broaden your search • Broadening your search - Summary – Alternative terms butterfly OR lepidoptera – Alternative spellings organi?ation labo?r – Word stems negligen* Warning: Terminology and symbols vary, depending on which database or catalogue you are using
  20. 20. Part 3 “15299l” https://pixabay.com/en/darts-dart-board-bull-s-eye-game-102919/
  21. 21. Narrow your search (1) Focussing your search Combining your search terms a) Using the AND connector b) Proximity connectors Improving your search accuracy a) Phrase searching (2) Filtering your search
  22. 22. Combining your search concepts (a) Using the AND connector copyright AND photograph AND
  23. 23. Combining your search concepts (a) Using the AND connector … will return only those results which include both the term copyright and the term photograph. AND
  24. 24. Combining your search concepts (a) Using the AND connector Some databases will assume an AND between two terms even if you don’t include it… e.g. sddsfsdsdfsdfsdfsdfsdf
  25. 25. Combining your search concepts (a) Using the AND connector Some databases will assume an AND between two terms even if you don’t include it… e.g. sddsfsdsdfsdfsdfsdfsdf … but not all.
  26. 26. Combining your search concepts (a) Using the AND connector Examples include: Power Search: Requires use of the 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. (For Durham, this is ‘appearing within 5 words of’). http://support.ebsco.com.ezphost.dur.ac.uk/ help/index.php?help_id=35
  27. 27. Combining your search concepts (a) Using the AND connector So get into the habit of using it even when not necessary… 1. Avoid mistakes 2. Make cutting & pasting your search between databases easier.
  28. 28. (b) Proximity connectors truth AND reconciliation Will return results where both terms appear… Combining your search concepts
  29. 29. (b) Proximity connectors truth AND reconciliation Will return results where both terms appear… Anywhere. Combining your search concepts
  30. 30. (b) Proximity connectors truth AND reconciliation Will return results where both terms appear… Anywhere. They could appear several pages apart, and be unrelated. Combining your search concepts
  31. 31. (b) Proximity connectors truth AND reconciliation To account for this, some databases will allow you to use a proximity connector instead of AND… Combining your search concepts
  32. 32. (b) Proximity connectors truth AND reconciliation To account for this, some databases will allow you to use a proximity connector instead of AND… … to only return results where one keyword appears within # words of another keyword. Combining your search concepts
  33. 33. (b) Proximity connectors truth w/3 reconciliation Combining your search concepts
  34. 34. (b) Proximity connectors truth w/3 reconciliation Combining your search concepts
  35. 35. (b) Proximity connectors Combining your search concepts
  36. 36. Narrow your search Truth within 5 words reconciliation Truth w/5 reconciliationTruth /5 reconciliation Truth N5 reconciliationTruth adj5 reconciliation Warning: How this is used can vary considerably between databases. Truth Near5 reconciliation Truth Near/5 reconciliation
  37. 37. Improving your search accuracy (c) Phrase searching Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  38. 38. (c) Phrase searching “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” Improving your search accuracy
  39. 39. (c) Phrase searching “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” Improving your search accuracy
  40. 40. Filtering your search (a) Excluding terms “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” NOT “South Africa”
  41. 41. (a) Excluding terms “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” NOT “South Africa” Will return results where the phrase “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” appears, whilst excluding those results where the term “South Africa” appears… Filtering your search
  42. 42. (a) Excluding terms “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” NOT “South Africa” … but be careful with the NOT connector. It might exclude results which offer a comparison, or results where the excluded term appears only in a reference or footnote, which may still be of interest… Filtering your search
  43. 43. Narrow your search • Narrowing your search - Summary – Focussing copyright AND photograph – Proximity searching negligen* w/5 PwC – Phrase searching “duty of care” – Excluding terms property NOT intellectual Terminology and symbols vary, depending on which database or catalogue you are using
  44. 44. Part 4 “PublicDomainPictures” https://pixabay.com/en/connect-connection-cooperation-20333/46814
  45. 45. Grouping your search Shakespeare AND (tragedy OR sonnet) - will return results about Shakespeare’s tragedies and sonnets. Shakespeare AND tragedy OR sonnet - might return results about Shakespeare’s tragedies, and also anything about sonnets (including those written by others).
  46. 46. Grouping your search Shakespeare AND (tragedy OR sonnet) - will return results about Shakespeare’s tragedies and sonnets. (Shakespeare AND tragedy) OR sonnet - might return results about Shakespeare’s tragedies, and also anything about sonnets (including those written by others).
  47. 47. Grouping your search Shakespeare AND (tragedy OR sonnet) - will return results about Shakespeare’s tragedies and sonnets. Shakespeare AND tragedy OR sonnet - might return results about Shakespeare’s tragedies, and also anything about sonnets (including written by others). With brackets: 110,754 results in Discover Without: 150,795 results in Discover (679, 017 results if entered in reverse: tragedy OR sonnet AND Shakespeare)
  48. 48. Constructing your search Example Examining the impact of crime enacted by teenagers in the inner city
  49. 49. Identify your key concepts
  50. 50. Constructing your search Example Examining the impact of crime enacted by teenagers in the inner city
  51. 51. teenagers crime inner city
  52. 52. Identify your keywords
  53. 53. Identify your keywords These should describe, or focus, on a particular aspect of each concept.
  54. 54. Identify your keywords Think about alternative words, spellings and terminology.
  55. 55. teenagers youth juvenile adolescent crime inner city
  56. 56. teenagers youth juvenile adolescent crime shoplifting Anti-social behaviour theft inner city
  57. 57. teenagers youth juvenile adolescent crime shoplifting Anti-social behaviour theft inner city urban cities London
  58. 58. Construct your search Think about wildcards, truncation and phrase searching.
  59. 59. teen* youth juvenile adolescen* crim* shoplift* “Anti-social behavio?r” theft “inner city” urban cities London
  60. 60. Construct your search Link your terms with appropriate connectors.
  61. 61. 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)
  62. 62. 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)
  63. 63. 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)
  64. 64. 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)
  65. 65. (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 based on search entered.
  66. 66. Evaluate your search Are you getting the results you expected?
  67. 67. Evaluate your search Can the results returned inform your search strategy and identify improvements?
  68. 68. Evaluate your search New keywords? Key authors? Focus I on a specific topic or aspect of the topic?
  69. 69. Researcher Development Framework
  70. 70. Researcher Development Framework

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