You can use Boolean operators to broaden or narrow your search.
- AND — narrows or decreases the amount of results in a search. All terms entered with AND must be present in the record in order for it to appear.
- OR — broadens or increases the amount of results in a search. Any term entered with OR must appear in a record for it to appear in the results list.
- NOT — narrows or decreases the amount of results in a search by excluding the word or phrase following NOT from the result list. (Be cautious when using NOT, as it often discards the useful as well as the useless!)
Truncation will search for multiple variations of the keyword. For example, if you enter teach* you will get results for not only "teach," but "teacher," "teaching," etc. Use this to expand your searches for all forms of a word that can be used in similar situations to describe a topic.
The asterisk (*) is the most common form of truncation with search engines, but they do vary, so double-check if your results aren't working out.
These allow you to substitute one or more characters within a word to pull different words into your search. For example, the question mark (?) is a wildcard symbol in some search engines. If we were to use ? in the word "women," it would look like wom?n. By doing a search with wom?n, we will retrieve results that contain either "woman" or "women."