1. Identify main concepts and keywords. Search the main concepts first, then limit further as necessary.
2. Find Synonyms (Boolean OR broadens the search to include alternative keywords or subject thesaurus terms):
3. AND (Boolean AND joins concepts and narrows the search) :
4. Be aware of differences in American and English spelling and terminology. Most databases use American spelling and terminology as preferred subject terms.
5. Use Truncation (putting * at the end of a word stem will search all forms of the word):
6. "...." (inverted commas) use for a phrase
7. Wildcard ? will search for any single letter in the space. e.g. wom?n will search women, woman, organi?ation will search organisation, organization.
8. Wildcard * can also be used where alternate spelling may contain an extra character. e.g. p*ediatric, will search paediatric or pediatric, behavio*r, will search behaviour or behavior.