Using search techniques in your research can make a big difference in finding the right information for your assignment. Here's why it's helpful:
Finding what you need: When you use search techniques like combining words with "AND" or "OR" and putting phrases in quotation marks, it helps the search engine understand exactly what you're looking for. This means you get more accurate results that directly relate to your assignment.
Getting rid of the junk: The internet is full of a lot of information that may not be useful for your assignment but by using filters and limiters, you can narrow down your search to specific things like recent articles, scholarly sources, or specific subjects. This way, you can focus on the information that really matters.
Saving time and effort: Instead of spending hours scrolling through tons of irrelevant pages, using search techniques helps you get to the good stuff faster. You can quickly find reliable sources and spend more time analysing and using the information in your assignment.
Getting the best results: By choosing the right keywords, using synonyms, and exploring different search strategies, you can uncover a wider range of information that relates to your assignment. This helps you develop a well-rounded understanding of your topic and produce a stronger assignment overall.
Using the following search techniques and strategies can make your database search more effective and help you find the information you're looking for faster.
Example search string:
Instead of just typing in keywords, use search techniques like combining words with "AND" or "OR" and putting phrases in quotation marks to get more accurate results that directly relate to your assignment topic.
If you're not sure about the exact word you need, you can use truncation or wildcard symbols like * # or ? to represent different word endings or spellings. It's like giving the search engine or database a wildcard to fill in the blanks.
For example, searching for enviro* would retrieve results for environment, environmental, or environmentalist.
For example, searching for analy#e would retrieve results for analyse or analyze.
For example, if you search for educat* to capture education, educational, and so on, you might also get words like educator or educational toys that have a different meaning in the context of your research.
Parentheses can help you group search terms and make your search more powerful. You can use them to create complex searches with multiple conditions.
This search string will give you results that include any of the climate change or global warming terms combined with any of the renewable energy or solar power terms.
You can get more precise results by using the following advanced search techniques and strategies leading to better information for your assignment.
Take advantage of limiters and filters provided by the database to refine your search. This includes parameters like date range, publication type, language, and subject.
This retrieves results published within the specified date range.
Explore the database's controlled vocabulary or subject headings and use them in your search. This ensures that your search aligns with the database's standardised terminology, leading to more precise and comprehensive results.
This retrieves results specifically categorised under the subject heading "Global Warming."
Use proximity operators (e.g., NEAR, ADJ, WITHIN) to find terms within a certain distance of each other. For example, "solar energy" NEAR/3 "efficiency" would retrieve results where the terms are within three words of each other.
This retrieves results where the terms "sustainable development" and "economy" appear within three words of each other.
Searching databases by Yavapai College Library