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Small Business Strategy Planning ENTRP 492

Carson Business Solutions

Searching Tips

A keyword search is generally not a one-shot exercise. As you search, pay attention to the results you receive and adjust your search strategy to build a better search to find additional relevant results. As you search, pay attention to any similar search terms in the results that speak to your topic and integrate these terms into a new search.

Each database has its own searching defaults, however the following general tips tend to carry from platform to platform:

  • AND is implied when 2 or more words are separated by spaces, such as advertising campaigns (will search as advertising AND campaigns).
  • Use quotation marks “ ” to search for exact phrases. ex "advertising campaigns"
  • Use an asterisk (*) to Truncate words in your search:

    Example: Searching for econom* will find economY, economICS, economICAL, etc

    Search example: You need to write a paper on entrepreneurs and product development.

  • Type entrepreneurs and “product development” into the search bar;  remembering to add the “quotes” around product development to search these words as a phrase. You could also try this search by truncating entrepreneurs to entrepreneur* to pick up entrepreneurship in your results: entrepreneur* and “product development”.

Boolean Operators

boolean "AND" diagram    AND

Use AND to narrow a search and retrieve records containing all of the words it separates, e.g. adolescents AND children  will only find records containing both these words.


 boolean "OR" diagram     OR


Use OR to broaden a search and retrieve records containing any of the words it separates, e.g.adolescents OR children  will find records containing adolescents only, children only, or both words.

 boolean "NOT" diagram   NOT

Use NOT to narrow a search and retrieve records that do not contain the term following it, e.g. adolescents NOT children will find records that contain adolescents, but will not contain the word children.

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