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Conducting an effective search.ppt - Wikispaces

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					Conducting an Effective Search




 Tips for searching the Internet, electronic databases, and OPACs.
                   Basic tips
 Brainstorm a list of keywords, questions, phrases, or
  concepts for your topic. Keywords are significant
  words or terms in the title, abstract/summary, or text
  of an item that indicate its subject.

 Enter words in the search box that you think will
  appear on the Web page you want.

 Avoid common words (such as a, an, or the) unless
  they are part of a phrase.

 Use correct spelling.
                     Wildcards
 If you don't know the complete word, or aren't sure
  how to spell it, add an asterisk (*) to the end of what
  you do know. An asterisk can replace any number of
  letters at the end of a word. However, the * can't be
  used as a word's first or second letter or have any
  letters after it. For example, If you enter teach*, you
  will get a list of results with "teach", "teacher",
  "teaches", and "teaching".
 You can use a question mark (?) to replace a single
  letter. You can use more than one question mark in a
  word, but it can't be the first letter. Example: If you're
  not sure whether it's "allegators", allagators", or
  "alligators", search using all?gators.
 You can also use a question mark to find multiple
  forms of a word. Example: A search on wom?n finds
  both "woman" and "women".
               More search tips
 Put quotation marks around phrases or proper
  names. Example: “George Washington”

 Be specific. If you are searching for information about
  Florida, type "Florida". If you want to find information
  about vacationing in Florida, type "Florida vacation"

 Use correct spacing. If you search for
  "baseball cards," you will most likely receive a list of
  various collectibles. If you search for "baseballcards"
  you will likely find only a website with the address
  www.baseballcards.com
     Conduct a Boolean Search
Computers cannot understand
 human language, but they can match
 words. By using a combination of
 keywords and Boolean operators you
 will improve the results of your
 search.
A Boolean search is made up of
 keywords connected by the logical
 operators AND, OR and NOT.
             Boolean Operators
 AND
  This is used to narrow your search by ensuring that all
  keywords used will appear in the search results. Example:
  cats AND dogs gives you only the titles that mention both
  cats and dogs.
 NOT
  This is used to eliminate an unwanted concept or word in
  your search statement. Example: cats NOT dogs gives
  you only the titles about cats that do not mention dogs.
 OR
  This is used to broaden your search by retrieving any,
  some, or all of the keywords used in the search statement.
  Example: cats OR dogs gives you all the titles that
  mention cats or dogs or both.

 Click here for a visual representation of how Boolean
  operators work: http://kathyschrock.net/rbs3k/boolean/
         Advanced Searches
Most search engines have a special
 advanced search page that allows you
 to increase the accuracy of your search.
You can filter using many options.
Look for the “Advanced Search" link.

Need more help? Read the "hints" and "help"
 pages.

				
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