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ENBUS 690 - Library Research Guide: Find Articles

Search Strategies

Narrow your search (to retrieve fewer references) 

  • Use Boolean operators AND /Not. For example, glaciers AND climate change; invasive species Not purple loosestrife
  • Keep terms together by using quotation marks (e.g. “natural areas”)
  • Start with “anywhere” searching and move to “Keyword” if appropriate
  • Use limits – language; years of publications; publication type

Broaden your search (to retrieve more references)  

  • Use Boolean term OR e.g. rivers OR streams
  • Use wildcard symbols: (the symbol might vary with the database)
  • Truncation. For example, forest* will retrieve forest, forestall, forests, forestation, forestry
  • Multi-character wildcard for finding alternate spellings. For example, behav*r will retrieve behavior or behaviour.
  • Single-character wildcard for retrieving alternate spelling. A “?” retrieves a single character, while two “??” retrieves 2 characters. For example, wom?n retrieves woman as well as women

Refining Your Search (to find more RELEVANT results) 

  • Use NOT to exclude unwanted terms
  • Search specific fields (title, abstract, subject/descriptor, etc.)
  • Use AND instead of OR
  • Use the subjects listed in articles of particular interest, when available, to find other similar articles
  • Use other terms and phrases that keep occurring in the articles that you are reading

Obtaining Articles Not Found in the Library's Catalogue (Omni)

If the material you need is not available in Omni, you can request it using the blank request form found at the top of the Omni results screen under Interlibrary Loan.

Suggest a purchase
Suggestions for new library acquisitions are welcomed using this form to recommend a purchase.

Databases of Interest