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PSYC 302: Research Methods

PSYC 302

Research Methods

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Search Tools

Search Tools

So, now that you have your keywords you are ready to start your searches. Here are a few tools that you can use to focus your search:

  • Boolean operators: AND, OR, NOT
  • AND - use AND in between connected search terms to narrow and focus the search, using AND will usually return fewer results
    • For example, search for global warming AND polar bears and the search will return only results that include both search terms
  • OR - use OR to search for results that contain alternatives to your search terms, using OR will usually return more results
    • For example, search for global warming OR climate change and the search will return results that include either of these search terms
  • NOT - use NOT if there is a search term that you want to exclude from your results
    • For example, search for global warming NOT greenhouse gases if you want to exclude all results that include greenhouse gases
  • Note: these operators can be used together
    • For example, search for global warming OR climate change AND polar bears for results that contain global warming and polar bears and also climate change and polar bears
  • Quotation marks: place around phrases or words that should show up in results together, such as "global warming". Otherwise, a search will be done for both global by itself and warming by itself.
  • Truncation: use an asterisk to search for a term that may have many variations, such as warm*. In this case, all terms that start with warm will be found, including warming, warms, warmer, etc.

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