The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into most databases’ search boxes.
Now copy and paste the above Search Strategy into a database search box.
Often, the best way to find materials in a database on a certain topic is to use "keyword searching." This is when you search for words anywhere in the database record - in the title, the subject headings, the author's name, etc. It's important to use the most important (or, "key") words in your topic, to get the most relevant results.
Example topic: Archaeological impact on Native American communities in Florida?
Your keywords are: "archeological impact" and Native American Communities and Florida
Alternative Search Statements: archeology and Florida and Native Americans
Boolean Operators (Connector Terms )
Use "AND" to narrow your search and focus onto your topic by combining two or more terms. Example: "Southeastern Archaeology" AND communities Note: OneSearch automatically searches all terms entered, no need to add the AND.
Use "OR" to broaden your search by combining synonyms or alternative forms of words. Write down any synonyms for your search terms and connect them with OR. Example: "Native Americans" OR "Indigenous Peoples"
Use "NOT" to exclude a keyword. Using the connector term NOT brings up one keyword and not the other. Example: "economic development" NOT tourism
Using quotations around a phrase searches for those keywords side by side instead of appearing separate in the article.
"economic development" instead of economic and development
Tip: Use a truncation symbol (also known as a wildcard) to automatically get words with variant endings, including plurals. This makes your searching more efficient because it cuts down on your number of searches. Many (not all) databases use the * as the truncation symbol. Check the online help in each database to find which symbol is used.
Example: anthro* finds anthropology, anthropologists, anthropological etc.
Depending on the database you use, you may need to make your search more general or more specific.
For example, book titles are usually quite general, and you can't normally search the contents of the book, so in OneSearch limited to the catalog only, your search terms may need to be more general.
Journal and newspaper article titles tend to be much more specific, so you might have to adjust your search and add more specific search terms.