Search technique

Search technique

When you perform an online search, always search in databases.
These databases have the information organized in order to be searched. Each item has a record associated. Each record has fields with different information: subject, author, title, …

Title: Going online: academic libraries and the move from print to electronic journals
Author: Toni Fortini
Publication: Library Student Journal
Year: 2007
Abstract: Academic libraries are increasing the number of electronic journals (e-journals) in their collections. While patrons enjoy access to articles with the click of a button, librarians face the complex process of Implementing and maintaining e-journal subscriptions.
Subject (Keywords): Academic libraries, electronic journals

Online databases usually allow two types of searches:

Simple search – allows you to search only one field.

Advanced search – allows you to search on multiple fields as well as using auxiliary search tools

Select the field you want to search. Instead of searching on “all fields” search for a specific field such as title or subject.

Auxiliary search tools

1. Boolean Operators

The connecting words like AND , OR and NOT (or NO) are crucial to combine multiple terms. They are called boolean operators.

When you want to find articles that bring together two or more ideas you must connect search terms with the word AND. This means that both terms must appear somewhere in the registry. AND is used to limit your search.


Television AND Violence
Internet AND Security

The term OR can also be used to combine words. In this case the search retrieves articles that contain one of the keywords. This type of search works best when you intend to find synonyms of a particular concept. As a result, search is extended.


University OR College
Teenager OR adolescent

The term not can also be used to combine words. This term retrieves results in which only the first term is included, excluding those containing the second term. The NOT expands the search.


Java NOT coffee
Mexico NOT New Mexico