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Searching with Keywords: Home

Searching with Keywords

There are a number of ways to search in databases using keywords. Below, we will cover basic keyword searching, Boolean Operators AND and OR, phrase searching, and truncation.

1. Basic Keyword Search: By searching a keyword or keywords without choosing a specific field, the database will look for those words anywhere in the article's title, abstract, journal information, subject, and more. It's a broad search that sometimes isn't enough to give you the specific articles you need.

2. Boolean OR: You can use the OR to search for synonymous concepts all at once. For instance, the example below tells the database to find either the words cooperation, negotiation, or teamwork. Any of those terms will appear in the search results. This helps to broaden your search results.

Remember that if you use this Boolean operator, make sure to capitalize OR. Otherwise, the database will search for the word "or" in your search results.

3. Truncation: By spelling out the root of a word and adding an asterisk (*) to the end allows you to search for that root and any variation in spelling afterward. For example, by searching cooperat*, the database will retrieve cooperation, cooperate, cooperating, cooperative, etc.

4. Below, I've combined Boolean OR with truncation. This will broaden your search even more.

5. Boolean AND: The default operator in the drop down box is usually AND. The below example tells the database to find any of the words in the first line to appear with any of the words in the second line. However, a keyword in the first list must appear with a keyword in the second line. Here's a simpler example: If you search for cooperation AND child, both of those words must appear in the search results.

6. You can continue to add keywords to each line with the AND operator. Your number of results will get smaller and smaller as you continue to be more specific in your search.

Tutorials created by: Eugenia Opuda
Gifs created in Camtasia or taken online from Giphy