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ISL181/481 Research Skills Guide: Search strategies

Common Search Tips

These search tips can help you to find more relevant results in Primo Search and many other library databases. If these tips don't work in the database you are using check their help section for their set of symbols.

Search Operator Example
Use AND to retrieve results that contain both of your search terms. Prophet Muhammad AND Medina
Use OR to retrieve results that contain any or all of your search terms. period OR era
Using NOT to exclude irrelevant results. Medina NOT Ohio
Combine terms with parentheses to create complex searches. (Islamic OR Muslim) AND Medina
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase "Social reforms"
Search for terms with different word endings using an asterisk. develop* = developed, developing, development, develops
A question mark can be used to replace a single letter within a word. analy?e = analyse, analyze

Activity

Try combining some of your keywords using some common search tips.

  • Do you have similar terms to link with OR?
  • Do you have any phrases?
  • Can you combine two different terms with an AND?