COMM 1016: Search
Truncation and Wildcards
A symbol, specific to the search interface, which allows the retrieval of all endings for the specified base word. An asterisk (*) is often used. For example, child* would retrieve records with children, childish, and every other word that begins with the root word "child."
A symbol, specific to the search interface, which allows the retrieval of various spellings of a word. A questio mark is often used. For example, wom?n would retrieve records with women or woman.
Read more about these sorts of tricks
Example Boolean search statements using symbols
- (Calcium AND milk) NOT goat
- child* AND anxiety AND (exercise OR physical activity)
See our tutorial about developing search statements.
AND, OR, NOT - The Boolean Operators
AND, OR, and NOT
Now that you've come up with a list of keywords that might describe the information or ideas that you're hoping to find in the library databases, you need to think about how you will combine these terms in order for the databases to be able to understand what you want. Databases use something called Boolean logic, which basically means that you need to use specific words to combine your keywords in order to get the best results. AND, OR, and NOT are the words most commonly used to combine keywords--they are called Boolean operators. Using Boolean operators can help you create a very efficient search.