Database Search Tips
- Use Boolean operators connect your search words together to either narrow or broaden your set of results. The two basic boolean operators are: AND and OR.
AND tells the database that ALL search terms must be present in the resulting records.
Example: healthcare AND immigrants
OR increases your results, telling the database that ANY of your search terms can be present in the resulting records.
Example: migrants OR immigrants
- Use database limit options as needed. Most databases offer these options to limit your results:
- to scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals
- by source type (magazines, newspapers, academic journals)
- by language (e.g., English)
- Broaden a search by using a truncation symbol with a search term. Most databases use the (*) symbol. For example, immigra* retrieves immigration, immigrant, immigrants, immigrate, immigrates.
- Use quotes around search words to force exact phrase searching. Example: "dream act"