Articles in Databases

Search Tips

1. Try starting with a research question in mind: 

How do roadways affect the migratory patterns of white-tailed deer? 

2. Limit to the main concepts: 

roadways migratory patterns white-tailed deer

3. After trying a search using the main concepts, you can test out some of the Boolean search terms, quotes, and truncation symbols to expand and limit your search: 

AND Limits (cat) AND (dog)  limits to only papers with both the word cat and the word dog. Usually assumed: cat dog will yield the same result.  
OR Expands (cat) OR (dog) expands to papers with the word cat and papers with the word dog, and papers with both cat and dog.  
NOT Limits (cat) NOT (dog) limits to papers that have cat but not dog  
" "  Limits "German shepherd dog" will find papers only with the words German shepherd dog in that exact order and spelled that exact way.  
* Expands anim* will find papers with the words: animal, animals, animate, animated, animosity, etc.   

4. Use synonyms to expand your search. 

For example, I would try a search for the main concepts listed above, but as I'm searching I might want to expand or limit my search by adding synonyms or more search terms: 

(roads OR streets OR development) AND (migrat*) AND ("white-tailed deer" OR "O. virginianus") NOT accidents

Similar to helping organize a math equation, parentheses help organize a search with Boolean search terms. 

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