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DOH115 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. cleft lip AND features
Use OR to retrieve results that contain any or all of your search terms. features OR development
Using NOT to exclude irrelevant results. development NOT congenital
Combine terms with parentheses to create complex searches. (features OR development) AND cleft lip
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase "cleft lip"
Search for terms with different word endings using an asterisk. develop* = develop, developed, development, developmental
A question mark can be used to replace a single letter within a word. analy?e = analyse, analyze



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?