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Searching tips for Academic Databases

  • A search is essentially a logic command that you are given the database. It will try to retrieve what you want based on the information you provide
  • Each line is a seperate concept
  • Words on each line should be synonymous, or like terms, and you seperate those with OR
    • ​example: If I wanted any papers on the oilsands I could search:
      • "oilsands" OR "tarsands"
      • tar sands is an older term primarily used in literature coming fom the the US, but the information may be valuable to have
  • Use quotation marks around multi-word phrases
    • example. If I wanted to search for literature on head injuries I would type in "head injury"
      • If I don't, the datase will do it's best to find all the literature in it's library containing the word "head" as well as anything about "injury" - and likely not all articles will be relevant
  • Consider truncation. Using a special character at the end of the root of a word will allow the database to find suffix variances without you having to search each iteration of a word
    • example: learn*
      • learn, learns, learning, learnings, learned, learner, learners
  • On the second line, you put in your next set of terms. 
  • Using the word AND tells the database you need wish to read articles that contain your first concept and your second (and third, and fourth etc)
  • When you AND the database has to find articles that satisfy your command, and your results list will be shorter
    • example: sleeping (as a concept) has nothing to do with studying (as a concept), so you have to tell the database to create that meaningful link

Google Scholar Set Up (Reduces the Amount of Paywalls)

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