Skip to main content

Information Literacy Tutorial: Search Strategies

Off-Campus Access to Databases

To access any database in this Research Guide from off campus, you will need your myMCC login. You may find your myMCC login at www.mchenry.edu/myMCC.  Click on "What's my username or password?"  

Limiters

There are a variety of ways you can limit your search in a database.  These include:

  • By date of publication
  • By scholarly or peer-reviewed journals
  • By full-text
  • By language
  • Number of pages
  • Publication name
  • Publication type

Adding limiters to your search will narrow your search results.  These options are usually available in the database's advanced search.

 

How To Find Databases on Your Topic

Boolean Operators

To be a successful searcher, you just need to know three little words: AND, OR, NOT.  These are the three Boolean Operators used to connect your keywords when searching library databases.

Boolean Operator Image. Links to Source. 

Quick Tips and Shortcuts for Database Searching (video 5:19)

Database searching: Truncation and wildcards

TRUNCATION

Also called stemming. Technique that broadens a search to include word variations such as spellings and endings.

  • To use truncation, enter the root of a word and put the truncation symbol at the end.
  • Database results should include various endings of the root word.  For example:
    • corp* = corporation, corporate, corporal, corpse, corporeal, corpulent, etc.
    • anthro* = anthropology, anthropologist, anthropomorphism, anthropoid, anthropocentric, etc.
  • Truncation symbols may vary by database; common symbols include: *, !, ?, or #

WILDCARDS

Similar to truncation, wildcards substitute a symbol for one letter of a word.

  • Useful if a word is spelled in different ways, but with the same meaning.(esp. as in British spellings)
  • Examples:
    • behavio?r = behavior or behaviour
    • colo?r = color, colour
    • wom!n - woman, women

 

Search Strategies

For hearing impaired students:

I am going to try and use a variety of sources.  I found some books in the library catalog searching for vegetarianism.  They will be good for an overview and background information.  I'm going to look at some of the library databases for articles.  This will give me more current and specific information.  I decided to start with Academic Search Premier and try searching vegetarianism and benefits.