This guide has been created by librarians to help you find books, articles, videos, and other types of resources related to this program of study. Direct comments to Michael English, email@example.com.
When typing words into database search boxes to search for articles, you want to be as precise as possible. Think of talking to a database as talking to a three-year-old. Just like a three-year-old, the database needs explicit instructions.
To best accomplish this, there are some key conventions to use when searching in databases:
(1) Nest related terms in parenthesis, using "OR" between them. This tells the database to look for any of those terms
ex. (tuition or cost or price)
(2) Put phrases (search terms of more than one word) in quotation marks. This tells the database to look for that exact phrase.
ex. "higher education"
(3) Link nested sets of related terms with AND. This tells the database to look for sources that have at least one term from each set.
ex. (tuition OR cost OR price) AND ("higher education" OR college or university) AND (roi OR "return on investment" OR value OR salary)
Creating Your Search Statements
Once you have your research question or research topic, what strategies should you use to get the most relevant results in the shortest amount of time?