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Research in a nutshell - NNPS: Search Strategies

Creating a search using Boolean Operators

If you are searching Google it is very easy to search phrases or questions, such as how does eating local affect the economy? But if you are using the library databases, you will need to use the key terms and a Boolean operator.  The Boolean operators are AND, OR, and Not. The following short video gives a very clear demonstration. If you would like a more hands on activity try the Boolify Project.  This actovoty pertains to Google but the same process can be used in our databases.

Project Boolify

Project Boolify allows students to practice working with boolean operators.  Using Boolean operators and adding keywords, students will create actual Google searches to visualize how different operators affect the search.

Project Boolify

Using bibliographies as a search strategy

One quick way to find more sources for your research is to utilize bibliographies. Once you find an article that fits your topic, search the article's bibliography for more sources relevant to your topic. Including articles in a bibliography not only credits the sources but also adds importance and credibility to these articles.

Let's say you were researching the glaciers in Nepal and one of your main sources was the journal article "Glacier variations and climate change in the central Himalaya over the past few decades." Searching the bibliography can add other titles to your research. But how do you find these articles? It's very easy!

sample bibliography