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COGS 191 Spring 2024

Key Word Chart

Search Tips

A. Boolean Operators

When searching in Databases, use Boolean Operators (AND, OR, and NOT) to tell the database what you're looking for).

OR is mORe (joins similar terms)  e.g. inactivity OR sedentary 

AND is less (joins dissimilar terms) e.g. "sedentary lifestyle" AND sleep

Sample Search Using both AND and OR

sugar OR soda



B. Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase

  • "sleep hygiene"
  • "couch to 5K"
  • "fast food"

C. Truncation

Use a symbol, the asterisk * is the most common, to look for variant endings of a word

  • prevent* will search for prevent, prevents, prevention, etc.

D. Combine search strategies

Combine search strategies for more efficient searching

For example: ("couch to 5K" OR "step tracking") AND depression

5WH Method

  • Who are the major figures associated with the topic? (e.g., Karl Marx, Albert Einstein, students, kittens)
  • What is the description of the topic? What is happening?
  • Where does the topic operate? (e.g., Eastern Europe, basal ganglia, California)
  • When is the timeframe for this topic? This can often be combined with “where” (e.g., Jurassic Era, antebellum American South, 21st-century inner-city Chicago)
  • Why is this significant to others in the field? Why is this happening?
  • How can your topic be tested? How do you describe the relationship between your concepts?