1. Isolate keywords from your topic.
2. Narrow your search results to include all of your keywords using AND.
"United States" AND cultural competence AND health care
3. Expand your search using OR to find like terms.
"United States" AND "cultural competence" AND ("health care" OR healthcare)
Combining search terms with AND:
A search for "United States" yields 314,000 results results
A search for cultural competence yields 1,700 results
A search for cultural competence AND "United States" yields 429 results
Combining search terms with OR:
A search for "health care" yields 263,000 results
A search for healthcare yields 170,000 results
A search for "health care" OR healthcare yields 317,000 results
A search for caregiver yields 13,300 results
A search for caregiver NOT family yields 6,700 results
Use Quotation Marks to:
This shows the search engine that you want the terms to be found together. The search will look for exactly what you place in the quotation marks, so be sure there are no mistakes.
A search for United States yields over 500,000 results
A search for "United States" yields about 300,000 results
Use Truncation to:
Search engines match your exact terms to results; they will not automatically find an alternate version of it. Truncation tells the search to match the root of your term and gives it freedom to find whatever endings it can.
A search for cultural yields 36,000 results
A search for cultur* yields over 95,000 results
Natural language words that describe your topic
Pre-defined "controlled vocabulary" that describe what an item is about
More flexible search - looks for anywhere the words appear in the record
Less flexible search - only the subject fields will be searched
Broader search, but may yield irrelevant results
Targeted search; results are usually more relevant to the topic, but may miss some variations
Keyword searching is how we normally start a search. Pull out important words or phrases from your topic.
Subject Terms and/or Headings are pre-defined terms that are used to describe the content of an item. These terms are a controlled vocabulary and function similarly to hashtags on social media.
In the Catalog, subject headings are displayed under "Description" in the record of an item. Click on the arrow to the left of "Description" and then scroll down to the section called "Subjects."
In the Databases, subject headings may be listed as Descriptors, Subjects and/or Subject Headings and are typically located in the Abstract and/or Details of an article.
These are short video tutorials in Flash format.