The following search statement can be broken down to searchable terms/concepts. After writing out a search statement, you should identify the main terms/concepts (see in bold/red below)
It is difficult to anticipate if the terms or variant
spelling of terms are actually in the documents or records you are
searching. This is why we break down the main concepts of our search
into broader, narrower or related terms.
Cambaridae Astacidae Parastacidae
Using Boolean/Keyword Operators in a database search (Expanded Academic
note - the asterik (*) is a truncation symbol that looks for spelling possibilities beyond the word stem spelling
See the following searches (among many possibilities)
1. crayfish AND territor*
2. crayfish* AND (territor* OR fight* OR intrud* OR competi* OR aggress*)
3. crayfish* NOT lobster*
|Race as a factor in death penalty sentencing|
race = racism or racist
death penalty = capital punishment
5. Using truncation
rac* AND death penalty
6. Narrower search
(race OR racism) AND (death penalty OR capital punishment) AND sentencing
Many databases offer a searching option called truncation. By attaching a designated symbol to the end of a word or word root the computer searches for plurals and/or variations of the word. The symbol is often an asterik (*) or ? (consult help screens in database to verify). Do not place a truncation symbol after a common word root like "tele" or "man" as you will retrieve too many irrelevant hits.
Example: hospi* will retrieve hospice, hospices, hospital, hospitals, hospitable, hospitality, etc.
Example: downsiz* and corporat* will retrieve the same results as: (downsize or downsizing or downsized) and (corporate or corporation or corporations).
Example: employee* will retrieve both singular and plural, employee and employees.
Venn Diagram - AND // OR // NOT
A Venn Diagram is a graphical way to show how your search sets narrow or expand
AND Keywords combined with AND will retrieve records only where both terms appear.
Example: social security AND reform (AND is used to narrow a search)
Social Security AND Reform OR Keywords combined with OR will retrieve records where either one or both terms appear.
Example: Weightlifting OR bodybuilding (OR is used to broaden a search)
weightlifting OR bodybuilding NOT
Keywords combined with NOT will retrieve records with the first term but not the second.
Example: gambling NOT lottery (NOT is used to narrow a search)
gambling NOT lottery
Proximity Searches - in EBSCOhost Databases ERIC Database
Proximity searching is useful for searching the text of long documents. You can use a proximity search to search for two or more words that occur within a specified number of words (or fewer) of each other in the databases. Proximity searching is used with a keyword or Boolean search.
The proximity operators are composed of a letter (N or W) and a number (to specify the number of words). The proximity operator is placed between the words that are to be searched, as follows:
- Near Operator (N) - N5 finds the words if they are within five words of one another regardless of the order in which they appear.
For example, type tax N5 reform to find results that would match tax reform as well as reform of income tax.
- Within Operator (W) - In the following example, W8 finds the words if they are within eight words of one another and in the order in which you entered them.
For example, type tax W8 reform to find results that would match tax reform but would not match reform of income tax.