Use this guide to help you refine your search techniques to find the best research material. If you are interested in research techniques related to a specific subject, look up your subject in the search box above to see related library research guides.
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|Boolean Searching is a database search method based on the principles of Boolean logic, originally developed by the British mathematician George Boole in the mid 19th century. Boolean searching allows you to combine search terms in specific ways for effective matches.|
- If you are retrieving too many records on your topic, try adding another search term with the connector AND.
- If you are retrieving too few records on your topic, try adding another search term with the connector OR.·
- If you are retrieving too many records on an unrelated topic, try eliminating a word with the connector NOT.
To increase the number of hits retrieved, you might consider using a truncation symbol. Truncation will pick up variations of a word stem. Truncation symbols vary, depending on the database.
e.g., critic* will find critic, critics, criticism, critical, etc.
The wildcard symbol can be used to replace one letter in a word. This will instruct the computer to do a search and match all letters in the word and use any letter to replace the wildcard symbol.
e.g., Wom?n will retrieve records with woman and women.
VERY IMPORTANT:The TRU library catalogue uses “$”, but all of the article databases use “*” for their truncation and wildcard symbols.
|Libraries use a classification system to arrange items so that the same topics are shelved together. Most academic libraries use a system called "Library of Congress Classification System" or LC. Think of the call number as being the "address on the shelf"!|
|Each call number is composed of several parts or lines. Our call number will be formatted a little differently, depending on where you see it, on a computer screen or on the spine of a book.|
|For example, consider the call number TK7881.6 M29 1993|