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HCOL First Year Students: An Introduction to the UVM Libraries

Computer searching tis and techniques

No matter what database you use to locate materials for your research, there are certain strategies that you can use in designing your searches, which will help you conduct effective searches on your research topic.

AND - combines terms; narrows and focuses search   ex.: skiing and Vermont
Most search engines/ databases assume an "and" between terms.

OR - used between synonyms or related terms, broadens search by supplying more options  ex.:  skiing or snowboarding;
globalization or globalisation

NOT - excludes terms from search, narrows and focuses search   ex.: rural not urban

TRUNCATION - symbol used at end of word or word part to retrieve variant word endings; adds flexibility and depth to your search  ex: environment* retrieves: environment; environments; environmental; environmentally; environmentalist, etc.

PHRASE SEARCHING - varies by database, but in many databases it is necessary to put quotes around the phrase:  ex.: "climate change"

Research Log Template

It is good practice to keep track of your searches, what worked for you, and what didn't.  It'll save you a lot of time, and a lot of duplication of effort.  Use this research log template to record all your searches and keep track of your research progress.