Searching with keywords instead of phrases and connecting them with Boolean operators get you more targeted search results.
Using Boolean Operators
Boolean operators “AND”, “OR”, and “NOT” define relationships between words. How do they work?
“AND” – searches all of your search terms. Example: poverty and population and income. Records will contain all these terms. Fewer records are retrieved, but more precise.
“OR” – either or both terms are retrieved. Example: mouse OR rat. More records are retrieved, but less precise.
“NOT” – when used it excludes or ignores words from the search. Example: dementia NOT Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is excluded from the search results. Using “NOT” can be tricky. You may eliminate a word associated with your topic that may provide additional information. This search helps to narrow your results, but is very restrictive.
Sometimes you may not get the results you want, but don't give up. Finding information involves playing around with your keywords. For example, if you are looking for information about the disease AIDS, you will get results about hearing aids sprinkled in your search results. To avoid this you may need to try "HIV" or "immunodeficiency."
Here are some keywords you may want to add to your searches try to get more targeted results:
Truncation is a searching strategy that can help you broaden your search results. The most common truncation symbol is *. For example, searching "fraud*" will search for the words "fraud," "frauds," "fraudulent," and "fraudually."
Finding a topic
Browsing subject databases is a good way to discover a topic in your subject area. Try this database: