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SOCI 3580: Research Methods in Sociology

Best Bets

AND, OR, & NOT

Use AND, OR, and NOT to connect your keywords and tell the database exactly how you want it to search for your terms.  These terms help you combine or exclude words in your search for more relevant results.

Operator Examples Results
AND

income AND education

"social work" AND therapy

Results contain    
ALL of the search terms.
OR

 

income OR salary OR wealth

 

Results contain ANY of the search terms, but not necessarily all of them.
NOT

"interpersonal communication" NOT "mass communication"

Excludes results containing
the second search term.

Truncation & Phrase Searching

Truncation or wildcard symbols allow you to look for variations of words. They often broaden your search results.

Example: searching for 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 "communication studies" tells the database to look for these words in this exact order - this phrase, instead of finding communication in one sentence and studies in another.

Search Strategy Builder


This tool is designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. Cut and paste the search string results into the search box of a library database or search engine.

Concept 1 and Concept 2 and Concept 3
Name your concepts here
Search terms Search terms Search terms
List alternate terms for each concept.

These can be synonyms, or they can be specific examples of the concept.

Use single words, or "short phrases" in quotes

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

or

Cut and paste the results above into the search box of a library database or search engine.
 
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