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SOC 409 -Research Methodology/Konczal: Formulating Search Statements

Professor Lisa Konczal

Truncation and Wildcard Symbols

Truncation is another way to widen a search, and pick up alternative forms of a particular word.

 Typing the root word and a symbol (usually *, ?, or #) will bring up anything beginning with that root word. Barry Catalog uses *. 

 Symbols may differ according to the database used.

  Examples:

  Comput* = computer, computers, computing , etc.

  Wom#n = woman, women

                   OR

  M?n  =  man, men

 

Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators allow you to narrow or broaden your search by combining words and phrases (use " " for phrases)into search statements to retrieve relevant documents from searchable databases.  The Boolean Operators are AND, OR, NOT.  You need to identify the keys terms in your search statement, and combine the terms with the relevant Boolean Operator to get the most efficient and effective results.       

Boolean Operators Use To
AND Narrow search and retrieve records with all the words in the search statement. Example: education AND internet.
OR Broaden search and retrieve records with any of the words in the search statement. Example: internet OR "world wide web".
NOT

Narrow search and excludes word(s) after Boolean Operator "NOT". Example: internet NOT "world wide web".