Before doing any research, it is important to know what words you will use to search for books and articles. Choosing the right words and search strategies can make all the difference, and it's important to remember that research is an exploratory process. It is rare to find exactly what you are looking for on the very first try. It is a process that usually requires multiple searches using multiple keywords or subject terms. It is very helpful to keep a list of these!
Keywords ("any field" or "select a field") will search titles, subjects, tables of contents, and descriptions.
To get ideas for additional search terms, try the following:
Helpful Searching Tips:
Boolean operators are words or symbols that are used in conjunction with words to refine searches. They can typically be used across most platforms, including specific databases like Academic Search Complete and Milne Search. Listed below are six common Boolean operators.
AND - narrows
Ex: Diversity AND policies (this narrows down our results to include only results with BOTH diversity AND policies in the results)
NOT - excludes
Ex: Science NOT social (this narrows down our results to include items about science, excluding those that mention social)
OR - expands
Ex: Diversity OR equality OR inclusion (this expands to search for multiple possible terms)
* - expands
Ex: inclus* (Asterisks are called wildcards. They expand a search by finding words that start with the same letters. In the example here, the search results would include such words as inclusive, inclusion, inclusivity, etc.)
" " - exact phrase
Ex: "Shishmaref Alaska" (this pulls up results that are stated in the item exactly as written)
( ) - confines
Ex: (fieldwork OR "field work" OR "field-work") AND (discrim* OR harass* OR abuse)
(this will instruct the database or search engine on what parts go together in your search phrase)