Search Strategies• No matter where you search: – Library Databases – The Library Catalog – The Internet• Many of these “tricks” will apply.
Keywords• What words will you use to search with?• Be flexible! – burglary – Breaking and entering – robbery – Larceny – Shoplifting, stealing, stolen goods, thievery
Boolean Searching Use For And Narrowing your search & retrieving records containing all words Or Broaden your search to retrieve any of the words. Not Narrow search to retrieve records not containing term following itSlide show creator: Abigail Colucci, University of Calgary Library,via SlideShare (http://www.slideshare.net/AbbeyWrites/boolean-searching-3310937?from=share_email)
Boolean Searching Prisons Sex Prisons Sex offenders offendersAND = All results about prisons AND sex OR = Results on either prisons or sexoffenders offenders (not necessarily both) Prisons Sex offenders Not = Results on prisons, but not if it includes info about sex offenders.
A sample search screen:The article must include one of these words: Prisons – jail – correctionsIt also must include one of these words/phrases: Sex offenders – rapistsBut if “Christopher Smith” is mentioned, then thosearticles should not be included!
Phrases• Are you looking for words appearing together? – Put the words “in quotes” to find that exact phrase!• For example: early release versus “early release”
Look for Limiting OptionsThe Catalog… Other library databases… And even with web search engines like Google!
Truncation/Wildcard Symbols Use symbols to search for various forms of a word. (Symbols may be different in different databases!)Example: psych* Example: wom?n• Psychiatric • woman• Psychological • women• Psychologists• Psychotic…
Limit your Fields• Limit where you are searching if you need to narrow or increase your results.
Frustration?• Not happy with your results?• Think about what kind of information you expect to find. Is this the right kind of database?• Few or no results for your searches? – Be more flexible. Just look for part of the topic. – Consider other words/phrases• Too many results? – Become more specific with keywords, limiters, where you’re searching
Originality!The good news: Congratulations, you have aclever and interesting topic that nobody hasthought of.The bad news: Nobody has thought of it, yet, sothere are no articles about your exact topic!What to do: Find related information todifferent aspects of your topic. Use thisinformation to draw your own conclusions!