Lesson 5

Applying the Search Strategy

Once you have logged on to a database you are ready to plug in your search strategy. For this example we will use the search strategy from Lesson 4.

Most databases will open to a basic search screen which defaults to a keyword search. You may or may not have the option of searching a different field on this screen.


Without options

Picture of basic 
search box without options.

With options:

Picture of basic search  
box with options.

Your search term(s) should be entered in the boxes along with appropriate Boolean operators and truncation symbols. Check the search interface's help or tips page to see what operators or truncation symbols are available with the system you are using.

Most search interfaces also provide an advanced search option. An advanced search allows you to search multiple fields at that same time. It also nests the search for you. In other words, each box is the equivalent of a set of parentheses.

For example:

Picture of advanced 
search box.

To select a different Boolean operator or field, click on the arrow at the far right of the box and then click on the desired operator or field name.

Practice with these menus:

Begin an advanced search by clicking on a button or link that, for example, says:

Picture of button. or Picture of button. or Picture of button.

Once you have typed all of your search terms in the correct places, selected the correct boolean operators and fields, and entered any truncation symbols, you need to tell the computer to execute the search. This can sometimes be done by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard. In most search interfaces there will be button for you to click on. These buttons will say something like:

Picture of search button. or Picture of Start Search button. or Picture of search button.

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