This guide teaches the different ways you can construct a search to find relevant results for your research. You will learn about connecting kewyords in productive ways, strategies for refining your search and tips for searching more productively.
"social conditions" OR "social aspects"
Israel OR Israeli
Connecting your keywords help you better limit or expand your search for more relevant results. Let’s use a real life example: John and Jane are going out to dinner, but they cannot seem to agree on where to go. John was sushi, but Jane really wants Thai food.
Clearly, John and Jane should go with sushi AND Thai, so both of them can be happy. These connecting words in library databases work the same way!
It's also a good idea to consider what you are asking the database to find and thus, where you are searching. This is especially important in databases that search the full-text of all documents, like JSTOR.
You can usually ask the database to search in these places:
Putting your search terms in quotes (e.g. "civil war") will search for them only as a phrase.
Adding an asterisk (*) to the end of a root word will locate all words for which that is that root—a good example is patrio* (patriot, patriotic, patriotism, and so on).
Read the database directions or the help page for specific instructions on how to search that database.
Make sure you are spelling things correctly or are there variant spellings? Sometimes it's the little things.