Using the AND operator
Example: graduates AND recruitment
Using the OR operator
Example: Human Resource Management OR Personnel Management
Using the NOT operator
Example: manager NOT executive
(talent OR skilled) AND (human resources OR personnel management) AND employee
human resources management OR HRM
recruit* will search for the words recruit, recruited, recruiter, recruitment, recruiting etc.
leader* will search for the words leader, leaders, leadership etc.
analy?e = analyse, analyze
wom?n = woman, women
Example: If you type in talent management, you will get results equivalent to searching talent AND management. If you wish to search for the phrase <talent management >, you need to type in "talent management".
Example: If you type in succession planning, you will get the phrase <succession planning>. If you wish to search for the keywords business and leadership, you need to type in business AND leadership.
Database records consist of fields that contain specific pieces of bibliographic information.
Common fields include:
Most databases will default to searching in all the main fields (see Database Platforms below), but changing this to search only in a specific field, or fields, can give you more precise results.
For topic searching, it's a good idea to search in the Subject field, but searching in the Title field can work quite well too. If you are searching for an author, you can search only in the Author field; if you are searching for a publication, you can search only in the Publication (also known as the Source) field.
To find the various fields in which you can search, look for drop-down boxes or menus. Here's the EBSCOhost Advanced Search screen.
You can combine search terms, search operators, and field searching to build quite complex searches, and get precise results:
For information on searching using a thesaurus, see Using a thesaurus.
So far, we have looked at how search operators, truncation, keyword- and phrase-searching, and field searching can narrow or broaden your search.
Search limiters are another important way to narrow a search, and most databases offer a range of limiters that you can use as part of your search, or that you can apply after you have your results. In the latter case, they are usually called refiners or filters, because they refine/filter your results.
Common limiters include:
Other limiters will be available according to the subject content of the database, but might include:
To find limiters to add to your search, look for tick-boxes and drop-down menus on the main search page. To find refiners to refine your results, look for lists to the left or right of your results list:
You can use these strategies in the basic and advanced search boxes in Primo Search and other Library databases.
|Yes* = yes it does this but it works differently. The search techniques accepted by each journal database can vary; if in doubt, check a database's help section.|
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:
recruit* talent N6 Australia (N=near)This will find results where the keywords recruit* talent is within 6 words of Australia in any order
recruit* talent W6 Australia (W=within) This will find results where the keywords recruit* talent is within 6 words of Australia in the order in which you entered the search terms
Most databases provide the option to save your searches and set up alerts to help you keep up to date with the latest research. To do this you will need to create an account within a database which is separate from your Charles Sturt University login.
To find out how to set this up within different databases see the Library's Keep up to date with the literature.