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A. Boolean Operators
OR is mORe (joins similar terms) e.g. hygiene OR "hand washing"
AND is less (joins dissimilar terms) e.g. "online dating" AND anxiety
Sample Search Using both AND and OR
anorexia OR bulimia
B. Quotation Marks
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
- "health psychology"
- "zika virus"
- "sleep deprivation"
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: ("brazil" OR "south america") AND "zika virus"
Tips for Finding Keywords & Search Terms
- Use a visual thesaurus like Snappy Words, Visuwords, or GraphWords
- Use references sources like Credo Reference to get background information and key words. (See widget above)
- Most EBSCO databases have a tool to help you discover subject terms. See EBSCO Academic Search Complete > Subject Terms
- Most ProQuest databases have a tool to help you discover subject terms: See PsycInfo > Thesaurus
- When you find a useful article, look at the database Subject Headings and record them as possible search terms. (Example)