Search Tips

BE A BETTER SEARCHER

In this column I will share some advanced search techniques to use with Google and databases. Try them. I guarantee they will make you a much better and more serious searcher.

And ask Mr. Chioini for a personal crash course.



NOVEMBER 2020


GOOGLE TIP #2 - USING THE [NOT] OPERATOR

Using the Boolean operator [not] in your query will make sure the word you exclude will not appear in your results. Google, still different from what databases do, requires that you use the minus sign [-] attached to the word or phrase to be excluded.

So, the query [vikings -football] will retrieve everything about the vikings (the big, tough guys) and exclude everything about the football team.

Other example searches:

["government intervention" -europe]
["eating disorders" -anorexia]


DATABASE TIP #2 - USING THE [NOT] OPERATOR

All databases (EBSCO, Opposing Viewpoints, etc.) use the Boolean operator [not] as well. Unlike Google, though, you must write out the whole word in small letters.

[vikings not football]
["government intervention" not europe]
["eating disorders" not anorexia]




OCTOBER 2020


GOOGLE TIP #1 -
USING THE [OR] OPERATOR

Using [OR] in your search query will expand the number of hits you get, which means you'll get more results. If your query is [cats OR dogs] that means that either one of the terms must appear in the results, either the word "cats" or the word "dogs". We often use the [OR] operator with words that are synonyms.

Example searches:

[adolescents OR teenagers]
[house OR home]
[vehicle OR car OR truck]

Notice the way we write [or]. Google will only recognise the word as a Boolean operator (instead of the English conjunction) if you capitalise it: [OR].

CLICK HERE for a detailed explanation and for some tutorials on how to use Google well!




DATABASE TIP #1 - USING THE [OR] OPERATOR

All databases (EBSCO, Opposing Viewpoints, etc.) use the Boolean operator [or] as well. Unlike Google, though, you must not capitalise the word.

Example searches:

[adolescents or teenagers]
[house or home]
[vehicle or car or truck]

CLICK HERE for a detailed explanation and for some tutorials about Boolean logic.