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Search Smarter, Not Harder Truncation, Boolean Searching, and other weirdly-worded tricks of the trade www.haywood.edu/library.

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Presentation on theme: "Search Smarter, Not Harder Truncation, Boolean Searching, and other weirdly-worded tricks of the trade www.haywood.edu/library."— Presentation transcript:

1 Search Smarter, Not Harder Truncation, Boolean Searching, and other weirdly-worded tricks of the trade

2 Sifting through the mess Are you frustrated with your search results? Not really sure what youre looking for? Dont have time to sort through 10,000+ hits? Then try some of these search strategies to achieve better results!

3 Its all about the Synonyms Use a thesaurus to locate alternate words for your searches Example: House, Home, Dwelling, Estate Check out thesauri in the Library Try an online version The Oxford American Thesaurus of Current English REF PE 1591.O89 Roget's II : the New Thesaurus REF R732 Webster's New World Thesaurus REF PE 1591.L27

4 What it looks like… Why do it? There are over 600,000 words in the English Language. Not all researchers and authors use the same terminology. Using alternative words you increase your search results…and may come across new terminology or research you might have overlooked.

5 Boolean Searching Developed by George Boole, a 19th century English mathematician Originally devised as algebraic concept (but dont let that scare you) Represents relationships between entities (objects, ideas) Can narrow or broaden search results Boolean Operators to use include AND, OR, NOT

6 AND NOTOR Boolean Searching Continued… AND Is a connector that requires both search terms to be present in the results list For example: economy AND China will find information about Chinas economy OR Is a connector that requires either of the search terms to be present in the results list For example: teenager OR adolescent will find information about either teenagers or adolescents This is where your synonyms come in handy! NOT Is a connector that requires the first search term to present only if the results do not contain the second term For example: Endangered NOT birds will find information about endangered animals while excluding birds

7 What it looks like… Why do it? Using Boolean Operators will locate only information that meets only your criteria. Searching endangered returns results. Searching endangered AND appalachia returns 289results. Searching endangered AND appalachia NOT birds returns 171 results. If your research paper concerns endangered animals of Appalachia other than birds, which results list would you want?

8 Phrase Searching Searching with a string of words or phrases Use quotation marks or (parentheses) to set phrase limits For Example: World War II or (World War II) will return information about only World War II

9 Truncation, Truncation, Truncation Music*MusicalsMusician Musicality Conducting searches using just the root of the word will not only speed up your searches, but it may locate information you have overlooked. 1.Cut your search terms down to their root Example: the root of Education is Educat 2.Use an *asterisk* to indicate truncation Example: Educat* will search for education, educator, educated, educating…etc.

10 We have skills, information, resources, and random trivia you never knew existed! (828) Bill Kinyon Director, Library and Learning Resources Bill Kinyon Director, Library and Learning Resources Heather Gillette Librarian Heather Gillette Librarian


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