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CJ 4340: Crime Theory and Victimization: Search Strategies

Research guide for Molly McDowell's spring 2021 CJ 4340 course.

What other search strategies are there?

In addition to "phrase searching," Boolean operators, and truncation, you can also try using wildcard searches

Like truncation, wildcard searches will expand your results. Wildcard searches allow the database to replace the wildcard symbol with any letters that would make up a real word. It's like a shorthand way of typing every possible word that fits the pattern with OR in between. Not only will this save you time, but it might also give you alternative keywords you hadn't even thought of.

Here's a table to illustrate how some of these symbols (including the truncation asterisk) typically work.

Symbol What it does Sample search Instead of typing
* replaces zero or more letters at the end of a word
(this is truncation)
comput* computer OR computing OR computational OR...
# replaces at most one letter ne#t net OR neat OR next OR nest OR...
? replaces only one letter b?t bat OR bet OR bit OR bot OR but OR...

 

REMEMBER: Some databases may use these symbols differently or may use different symbols, so check the database's help section if you're having problems with wildcards.

Phrase searching

Create Email Alerts

Email Alerts will save you time and ensure that you don't miss any important updates made to your favorite information sources.  You can use it to keep up with:

  • Long Term Research Projects (eg: Thesis or Dissertations)
  • Research developments in your field
  • Table of contents from new issues of journals
  • New articles on a specific topic
  • New books in the library catalog
  • Job postings
  • Current Events

More information can be found on this Guide: Tools for Longterm Research

Boolean Operators in Action: OR

Boolean Operators in Action: AND

Boolean Operators in Action: NOT