Whenever you are given a research topic, always generate a list of potential SEARCH TERMS > minimum of 3*
'HOW TO' VIDEOS
BASIC Database Search (1 min.)
ADVANCED Database Search (1.5 min.)
EXTRAS - 'Discovery Layers' (1 min.)
Can't think of SEARCH TERMS terms?
1.Go to Thesaurus.com OR Yippy.com and type in your main topic.
2. Look at list of sub-topics on the left for other search terms.
(Don't use these websites for research purposes)
Note: Google and search engines are easy to use but do not give trustworthy research sources.
Databases = most reliable sources
A good researcher uses an ADVANCED SEARCH online
e.g. If you are searching for more than one word, (e.g. Water Conservation)
USE QUOTATION MARKS --
> Searches for the phrase in that exact order rather than each word separately
OTHER search options:
Wildcards: ? * (at end or middle of word)
? (Single character) -- Use when not sure of the spelling of a word/author e.g. Eri? will search for Erik, Eric, etc.
?? = not sure of spelling for 2 letters; ??? = not sure of spelling for 3 letters
* (End asterisk) = Trucation; this expands a search term to include all forms of a root word
e.g., patent* retrieves patent, patentable, patented, etc.
* (mid-word asterisk) = Multi-character wildcard for finding an unlimited # of characters within a word
e.g., behavi*r retrieves behaviour or behavior
What is a 'Boolean Search' ?
+ (AND) - (NOT) / (OR)
What do Boolean Operators do?
e.g. Looking for water conservation?
Water AND Conservation -- Searches for articles or pages which contain both Water and Conservation in their text
Bottles NOT Glass -- Searches for types of bottles including plastic and aluminum but excludes results with glass
Water OR Hydro -- Site may contain either the word Water, or the word Hydro
Use the Boolean Searches on any search engine (e.g. Google Scholar)
and for Advanced Searches in most Databases
> BONUS: If searching for 2+ terms, your search words will be highlighted in article.