When searching the Internet or library resources, get the best search results by using some of these search tips:
Broaden your search
To provide more results (expand) use OR between the keywords. This is useful when something can be described in different ways e.g. USA OR America
Some databases allow you to broaden your search by using the stem of a word andan asterisk*to find variant endings e.g. Crime* .
This will find crime, crimes, criminal, criminals, criminology, criminologies, criminologist, etc.
Use a question mark ? to find different spellings e.g. organi?ation (finds organization and organisation)
Narrow your search
To add 2 topics together use AND between the keywords e.g. crimeAND security
Using brackets allows you to perform quite sophisticated searches. this is especially relevant to internet searching e.g. ("circles of support and accountabilty" AND "probation service") AND crime*
Search for a phrase
To ensure that words always appear together as a phrase, enclose with “quotation marks” e.g. “probation service"
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 e.g. "crime prevention" +ac
To exclude topics which are irrelevant or not wanted use NOT between the words e.g. "Crime prevention"NOT CCTV
A minus sign (-) can also be used to exclude a term when searching the Internet e.g. to find information on whistleblower and not sport, enter whistleblower -sport*
Many search engines on the Internet find synonyms automatically i.e. 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 e.g. +Excelor "Excel"
To find similar websites to one that you have already found use Related: e.g. Related:https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/national-probation-service will find other websites which are similar to the National Probation Service website
Use site: to search within certain types of websites with either a specified subject (e.g. design) or domain (e.g. academic websites) eg. to search for statististics in crime or academic websites use Statistics site: crime or Statistics site: ac
To find a definition of something use Define: e.g. to find a definition of Bayesian statistical modelling use Define: "criminal justice system"
To get an answer to a question use an asterisk * e.g. to find out what John Howard developed enter john howard developed*