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CS 5014: Scholarly Resources and Services for Computer Science: Scholarly Resources

Boolean Searching

Rather than typing a full sentence or question into a search box, using Boolean operators can help you create an efficient and effective database search.

Try our Search Strategy Builder, which will create searches out of keywords that you supply!

In order to use Boolean operators, you need to know:

Boolean operators

  • AND:  both terms that you connect with AND msut be somehwere in the bibliographic record for that record to be retrieved.  AND narrows a search and retrieves fewer articles
  • OR:  only one of the search terms combined with OR is required for the bibliographic record t5o be retrieved.  OR broadens a search and retrieves more articles
  • NOT:  excludes a particular subset, category, or term.  NOT requires the presence of one search term and the exclusion of another.

Truncation:  A symbol, specific to the search interface, which allows the retrieval of all endings for the specified base word. An asterisk (*) isoften used.  For example, child* would retrieve records with children, childish, and every other word that begins with the root word "child."  

Wildcard:  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.

Recommended CS Databases

VT's University Libraries has nearly 1,000 databases!  In order to select the databases most relevant to your research topic, it can help to visit the Computer Science subject guide, which will point you in the right direction, in addition to highlighting basic reference texts related to CS.  

I also recommend that you include the following databases in your search, after browsing the CS Subject Guide for some initial ideas:

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Sarah Over
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