When you're choosing words to search for, remember that there are many different ways to describe the same idea. For example:
dog: canine, puppy, Dachsund, mutt...
You can't find what you don't search for. If you search for the terms dog and health, you won't find sources that only use the term canine to talk about dogs. Remember to search for variations of your term.
Use AND in a search to:
The purple triangle in the middle of the Venn diagram below represents the result set for this search. It is a small set using AND, the combination of all three search words.
Be aware: In many, but not all, databases, the AND is implied.
Truncation or wildcard symbols allow you to look for variations of words. They often broaden your search results.
Example: searching on sport* would bring up variations such as sport, sports, sporting, sporty, etc.
Note: The truncation symbol is usually an asterisk (*) but can vary by database. Consult the database’s “help” or “search tips” pages for details.
Use quotation marks for phrase searching, i.e. "University of Georgia"
Note: searching "social work" tells the database to look for these words in this exact order - this phrase, instead of finding social in one sentence and work in another.