In order to find articles in a database, you must effectively communicate your information need to the database.
Keep your first search simple
Avoid using long phrases, sentences, or sentence fragments
Use quotes (" ") to distinguish between phrases and keywords
Use the search operators to form your search
Observe the subject headings used by the database to group together articles, etc. on a given topic
Instead of simply typing in masses of keywords into a database search screen, take a moment to examine the following search operators that are common to many business databases. Remember, you will need to formulate a search statement rather than simply typing a question or extensive phrase.
Mandates the inclusion of the word or phrases somewhere in the record.
Example:entrepreneurs and bank lines
Used to account for variety in expressing an idea. Records will contain any one of the words or phrases in the set, not necessarily all.
Example:(learning or instruction or training) and (web or internet or online)
Excludes records containing a specified word or phrase.When using “not,” one must put “not” at the end of one’s search statement.
Example:online learning not CD-ROM
Utilized to account for varieties of a desired word.The database will find records containing words beginning with the word chunk you provide.
For example, a search for manag*would retrieve records containing any of the following:
Management, managing, managers, etc.
Keep in mind that the truncation symbol changes from database to database. For example, while EBSCO databases use the asterisk (*), LexisNexis uses the exclamation point (!). Consult the respective databases' HELP screens to learn the truncation symbol for the given database.