In most classes librarians advise students to narrow the topic as much as possible. For 3980,
Why? When searching for studies in PSYC 3980, you often need to narrow to specific characteristics in your study populations or specific methodologies. Limiting by these characteristics will decrease your results significantly. Keeping your searches broad will help balance that issue.
AND, OR & NOT are Boolean search operators. You can use these words to direct a database how to search for your concept terms.
You can combine AND, OR, and NOT to build very complex searches by grouping each concept in parentheses.
(surcalose OR aspartame OR saccharin) AND headaches
You can use OR with dissimilar concepts, but watch out for the relevancy and result size. This example would need refining, but could be a useful starting point.
(cats OR dogs) AND "household pets"
In the following example, I want to look at different types of therapy that cats and dogs are used for, but I'm not interested in therapy to remove phobias about dogs or cats. Also, I happen to know that authors Samuel and Elizabeth Corson do research on drug therapy used for aggressive animals. That would be the wrong direction, so I want to exclude their articles.
The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into most databases' search boxes.