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Quick Start Your Research

Database Search Strategies

Use these strategies to make your database searches more efficient.

  • Always click the Full Text limiter.
  • Click the Peer Reviewed limiter if your assignment requires scholarly peer-reviewed sources.
  • Use the Date Range limiter to limit your results to a specific date range.
  • Search with specific keywords, not questions or sentences.
  • Search 2-3 keywords at a time.
  • Put phrases in quotes to search it as a complete phrase instead of individual words (such as “climate change”) 
  • Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT
    • Use AND to search two unrelated terms. Example: climate change AND extreme weather
    • Use OR to search two similar terms. Example: climate change OR global warming
    • Use NOT to exclude results from your search. Example: climate change NOT air pollution