Keep a list of synonyms for possible keywords to be used in catalog and database searching, and keep track of which ones work best where. Consider other related terms.
Boolean searching: combining terms for efficient searching AND / OR / NOT
Immigration AND deportation
Alien NOT extraterrestrial
Illegal immigrants OR undocumented immigrants
Truncation, stop words, and phrase searching:
You may use the following symbols in the online catalogue and most databases to narrow your searches:
Phrase searching: Put parentheses around the exact phrase you wish to find:
“World Health Organization” “Welfare to Work” AND California
Use an * after a root word to search for variants of that word.
Child* for child, children
Employ* for employment, employee, employer, etc.
Use a ? to allow for one letter difference in spelling:
Wom?n for woman, women, womyn
The catalogue and most databases ignore certain words that carry little meaning:
the, and, an, it, etc.