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BIO 241 - 242 - Organization of Life

Better Searching

Searching tips:

Before you search:

-Think of your topic.

  • What key words/terms to describe what I am looking for?

- Look at the search screen.  Ask yourself:

  • What features are available? 
  • How do I put in multiple key words and/or phrases? 
  • Can I limit or refine my results?

    After you search:  

    -Look at your results.  Ask yourself:

    • Do I need to broaden or narrow my search? 
    • Do I need to use more or different key words?
    • What can I learn from what I have found?

    Refine your search and search again.

    How to Broaden or Narrow a Search

    All search environments, even Google, have features to broaden or narrow a search.  Select "Advanced Search" if you do not see the features.

    • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) to combine terms.  Don't know how? Look in the database's "help."
      • Use AND to narrow.  The results will have one term and the other term.
      • Use OR to broaden.  The results will have one term or the other term or both.
      • Use NOT to eliminate.  The results will not have the term.
    • To broaden also search word variants (i.e. plural,,).  Use a truncation symbol at the end of the word.  Typically it is an "*."  Check "help" if you are not sure.

    The world of Google