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Library Research Guides

SI 501 Contextual Inquiry and Consulting Foundations

This guide offers suggested resources and search strategies for conducting background research on your client/topic. Fall 2017.

Handy tips and tricks to help you search more effectively!

SEARCH TIPS for Mirlyn, library databases, and the web (applicable to many search engines, including Google)

  • PHRASE SEARCHING

Put phrases in quotation marks:  "hurricane katrina"

  • TRUNCATION

Use an asterisk for truncation (any ending of a term):  communicat* will find communication, communicates, communicating, communicator, etc.

  • MANY KEYWORDS

Many words may describe the same or related concept (movies, film, cinema, motion pictures)

  • BOOLEAN "OR" (broaden your search)

To search for any one of a group of terms, use a capital "OR" and parentheses:  (movies OR film OR cinema)

  • BOOLEAN "AND" (narrow your search)

To search for all terms, use "AND":  violence AND movies AND children

  • COMBINE THE ABOVE STRATEGIES: 

violence AND (movies OR film OR cinema OR "motion pictures") AND (children OR kids OR adolescents)

  • SEARCHING IS ITERATIVE: 

To be effective and thorough, go back and try searching multiple times with many different keywords