There are a number of techniques you can use while searching to get better and more relevant results.
Basic and advanced search
Basic search usually involves one search box, with a few options about searching a specific collection or field. This is great for general searching. When you have multiple keywords or complex search queries, using Advanced search can be helpful. This usually involves several different boxes for your different keywords, built-in search operators, and more options for field searching and limiters.
Most databases will have a link to Advanced Search next to their Basic search option. Advanced Search in Google Scholar is accessible from the menu.
Use these with your keywords to refine your searches and specify exactly what you want to find. These are most useful in journal databases and Primo Search (some of them won't work as well in Google Scholar).
|Use AND to retrieve results that contain both of your search terms.||financial AND reporting|
|Use OR to retrieve results that contain any or all of your search terms.||business OR enterprise|
|Using NOT to exclude irrelevant results.||capital NOT city|
|Use quotation marks to search for a phrase.||"big business"|
|Group keywords, terms or phrases with parentheses to create complex searches.||("profit and loss" OR P&L) AND statement|
|Search for terms with different word endings using an asterisk.||manag* = manage, managed, managing, management|
|A question mark can be used to replace a single letter within a word.||analy?e = analyse, analyze|
Most databases will allow you to specify which field you want to search. For enhanced topic searching, search in the Subject (best option) or Title (next best option). To find works by an author, use the Author field. To find items from a publication, use the Publication field (also called the Source). To find and select the fields in which you can search, look for drop-down menus beside each search box.
Once you've searched, you can also limit your results by some of these fields. This is extremely useful if you want all of your articles to have been published within a certain date range, or for them all to be peer-reviewed. Look for these in the menus beside your search results.
A proximity search forces a database to find results where one search term appears within a certain number of words of another search term. The proximity operator varies according to the database.
Examples from an EBSCOhost database:
employability N3 higher education (N=near) This will find results where employability is within 3 words of higher education in any order
employability W3 higher education (W=within) This will find results where employability is within 3 words of higher education in the order in which you entered the search terms
Charles Sturt University acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which its campuses are located, paying respect to Elders, both past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations Peoples.
Charles Sturt University is an Australian University, TEQSA Provider Identification: PRV12018. CRICOS Provider: 00005F.