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Do you need on-the-spot help finding a library resource -- a book or article for a class, or a database to search? This is a reference question! Visit the Reference Desk in Milne Library (or call us at 607-436-2722), ask now via our Online Library Chat, or send an email.
When you need in-depth help on a topic for a research paper or project, you can schedule an hour-long, one-on-one research consultation with a reference librarian. Reference librarians provide personal research consultations regarding specialized resources, specific assignments, or other in-depth research needs. Consultations will be conducted online via Teams or through email with the assigned librarian. It is important to plan ahead - please submit the form at least three days in advance.
Boolean operators are words or symbols that are used in conjunction with words to refine searches.
Here are six helpful ones to use:
AND - narrows
Ex: ADHD and boys (this narrows down our results to only include ADHD and boys)
NOT - excludes
Ex: ADHD not boys (this narrows down our results to include things about ADHD excluding those that mention boys)
OR - expands
Ex: boys or males or guy (this expands our our search to search for multiple possible terms)
* - expands
Ex: rac* (using the asterisk in replace of an ending on a word will expand your search to include results that have any ending on the base word. This example would search race, racism, racquetball, etc.)
" " - exact phrase
Ex: "executive functioning" (this pulls up results that are stated in the item exactly as written)
( ) - confines
Ex: (ADHD or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) AND (boys or guys or males) - (this will instruct the database or search engine on what parts go together in your search phrase