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Boolean Operators & Search Symbols   Tags: boolean_operators, phrases, truncation  

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Every online database lets you search or browse to find citations to materials.They can be used to find a variety of materials, such as articles from periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.), book chapters, books, legal documents, statistics, and more. Sometimes the retrieved item record will link to the item's content (usually text), but other times you will need to go elsewhere to find it by using the Find It button.

A search is designed to locate citations to materials which contain specified words, with the goal of finding those pertaining to a particular topic. A good solid approach to research will save you time and effort in finding what you want.

There are some search strategies which are universal to almost every database as well as Research@UWW, which searches for articles as well as the library's physical holdings, and this guide will introduce you to them. When using a resource for the first time, always check the search tips or help screens to see which of these strategies will work, and how they are applied, as there is variation among resources.

Typically, when beginning a new research project you will start with a search by keyword because you do not know the title, author or official Library of Congress Subject Headings for your topic. The strategies described here are used in keyword searches.

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