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Search tips for using Databases and the Internet
To help you get the best results from our Databases or the Internet, try the following search tips:
- To add 2 topics together use AND between the keywords eg. representation AND women
- To provide more results (expand) use OR between the keywords. This is useful when something can be described in different ways eg. women OR gender
- To exclude topics which are irrelevant or not wanted use NOT between the words eg. Social media NOT twitter
- A minus sign (-) can also be used to exclude a term when searching the Internet eg. to find information on Apple computers and not apples (fruit), enter Apple -fruit
- To ensure that words always appear together as a phrase, enclose with “quotation marks” eg. “working practice"
- Some databases allow you to broaden your search by using the stem of a word and an asterisk* to find variant endings eg. Stereotyp* (this will find stereotyped, stereotyping and stereotypical )
- Using brackets allows you to perform quite sophisticated searches. this is especially relevant to internet searching eg. ("human computer interaction" AND "interface design") AND software
- Many search engines on the Internet find synonyms automatically ie. they will find center if you have searched for centre. Use a plus symbol (+) or "quotation marks" to ensure a specific spelling of a word is found eg. +Excel or "Excel"
- In order to find information on a specified subject which originates from academic sources such as University websites, include +ac (British) or +edu (USA) to your search eg. "public relations" +ac
- Use a question mark ? to find different spellings eg. organi?ation (finds organization and organisation)
- To get an answer to a question use an asterisk * eg. to find out what Alan Turing developed enter Alan Turing developed*
- To find similar websites to one that you have already found use Related: eg. related:www.adassoc.org.uk will find other websites which are similar to the Advertising Association
image "Focus" by Mark Hunter