Research Basics


  • Do you know the requirements for your assignment?
  • Do you have the GALILEO/library database password?
  • Do you have money in Bulldog Bucks or a VTS print card?
  • If you aren't printing, do you have a place to save/send files?
  • Can you back up your information somewhere?
  • Did you get an overview of your topic before starting your research?
  • Do you have a list of terms to try searching?
  • Do you know how to contact your instructor and/or a librarian should you have questions?

Boolean Searching: AND, OR, & NOT

In the example below, think of each circle as a word or concept you're using in a search.

Boolean sample

While you can use OR to combine dissimilar things (cats or dogs), you'll more often use OR to combine similar concepts. This helps you pull in a more comprehensive set of records.

In the top example, we want to make sure that we get all articles related to testing, so we connect assessment and examination. Once we have a set on testing, we narrow with a different concept using AND. You can combine AND, OR, and NOT to build very complex searches. Group each concept in parentheses.

Let's say that we only want to look at topics for college testing, not K-12. We need to include college results and exclude earlier grades:

(test or assessment or examination) AND (college or university) NOT (elementary or "middle school" or "high school").

Last Update: 19 Jul 08:36 | Tagged with: UNIV