Search Better

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Welcome! Please find below search strategies and techniques to better find the sources you want and need.

Use Keywords

  • Use keywords (the words with the most significance).
    • Experiment with keywords by going broad and alternatively going specific (e.g., cyberattack vs. "SQL injection").
    • Try to anticipate the words experts and academics would likely use.
  • Put quotations around phrases.
    • A search for denial of service attack might return results with the words separated, but "denial of service attack" can return results with the words in that exact order.

Limit with Filters

  • You can limit and tidy up your results with filters (often on the left side of results).
    • Adjust the publication date range if the information or subject is affected by developments, innovation, findings, and/or discoveries.
    • Check-mark the source types that will have the information you're looking for, excluding the types that will not.
    • Check-mark and play around with the other filters to show results that are in a specific language, or that have a subject heading (tag) provided by the publishers, etc.

Refocus with Boolean Operators

  • Boolean operators are terms you can use to broaden or narrow your search.
  • The three basic operators are: AND, OR, and NOT.
    • AND links keywords and phrases
    • OR allows for synonym keywords and phrases
    • NOT excludes keywords and phrases

Example: cryptography AND ("Rivest Shamir Adleman" OR RSA)

cryptography in the first search box, the second search box is preceded by a dropdown Boolean operator box set to AND, the second search box after AND then has Rivest Shamir Adleman in quotes in quotes followed by OR in all caps and RSA