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EAS2026 Desire and Power Library Research Guide: How do I search effectively?

This guide introduces you to the skills and resources required for effective library research for Module EAS2026

How?

To get the best results from online search services, you need to input effective searches. Explore the recommended online search techniques below to help you search effectively.

Keywords

Before you start searching, spend some time defining your research topic. Ask yourself, what is it that you want to find out? What search terms or keywords will find this information?

Use whatever technique works best for you - e.g. brainstorming, words lists or mind maps etc. can help you think around your topic and identify all possible search concepts and terms. 

Take a look at the short video to help you begin:

For more guidance, see the Search Techniques guide.

 
It is possible to use a number of different keywords in a single search, by using operators.
 

The three most commonly used operators are ANDORNOT.  These are known as Boolean operators. They can be used to broaden or narrow a search and to exclude unwanted concepts.

Watch the video to find out how to use these operators.

 

For more guidance, see the Search techniques guide.

Search tips: improving your results

 

Use these tips to help improve your searching. By applying these techniques, you can increase or reduce the number of search results, making it easier to access the right materials.

Truncation is a technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings.

To use truncation, enter the root of a word and put the truncation symbol at the end.

The database will return results that include any ending of that root word.

The asterisk * symbol is most commonly used for truncation. However, check out the help screens as  !, ?, or # may also be used.

For example:

entrepreneur* will find entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial etc.

child* will find child, childrenchildlikechildhood etc.

Use it with care to avoid finding too many alternatives.


Wildcards are similar to truncation but they are used to substitute for a single letter or no letter in a word.

They are useful for irregular plurals and for British/American English spellings.

They broaden your search by including variant word spellings.

The question mark symbol is most commonly used. However, check out the help screens as  ! , *, or # may also be used. 

For example:

wom?n will find woman and women

optimi?ation will find optimisation and optimization

model?ing will find modeling and modelling

 

For more, see the Search tips guide.

Phrase searching is the most limiting technique as it is used to specify that your terms must appear next to each other, and in the order you specify.

Phrase searching is commonly achieved by surrounding your phrase with quotation marks.

Always check the Database Help screens, as some databases may use different symbols.

Phrase searching examples:

"World Trade Organization"

"influencer marketing"

 

For more, see the Search tips guide.

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