Most search engines will have a specific syntax and it's a good practice to look it up when you are a new user.
One commonality between many research databases is that you can be precise with your keywords and phrases. You do this by using Boolean operators to join the keywords and phrases in your search: AND, OR and NOT.
NOT can be a tricky operator and you may inadvertently exclude results that are relevant by not considering how certain words might be used within contact. Use NOT sparingly.
Many databases also allow you to join words together using parentheses
(). Here is an example of what that might look like in practice.
Google is a powerful search engine and learning a few methods to control your search results will save you time and help you become a better researcher. Google maintains a few separate, specialized search engines for patents, books, and scholarly literature too.
Here are a few common ways to limit, manipulate, and control your searches and links to more information on specialized search engines from Google.
"site:" in front of a site or domain.
example: providence site:brown.edu
"filetype:" in front of the type of file you are looking for.
"related:" in front of a web address you already know.
" " quotations around keywords.
example: "tuxedo cat"
See also: Verbatim setting
- in front of a word you want to leave out.
example: Apple leaf -apple.com