Using AND in a search is a way link two (or more) words or phrases to narrow your results. This means you'll get fewer results. It is a good strategy to use if you're getting too many irrelevant results.
Use this format: ______________ AND __________________
Example: cognitive stimulation therapy AND dementia
You're telling the database that the results must have BOTH of these terms. If you add another AND _____________, then your results would have to contain all three terms. Therefore, you would get fewer results, but all of these results would be highly relevant.
Using NOT narrows your search by excluding a word or phrase. This means you'll get fewer results. It is a good strategy to use if you're getting multiple articles about an aspect of your topic that you're not interested in.
Use this format: ______________ NOT __________________
Example: Dementia NOT Alzheimers
Sometimes it's appropriate to use more than one Boolean Operator in order to retrieve the results you want. In these situations parentheses are highly important because they tell the database how you want to group your keywords.
There are many ways to do this. Here are a few formats you may wish to try:
(__________ OR __________) AND ___________ Example: (therapy or treatment) and dementia
__________ AND (__________ OR ____________) Example:
(___________ AND __________) NOT __________ Example: (Cognitive Stimulation Therapy and Dementia) not China
(__________ OR ____________) NOT ___________ Example:
An asterisk (*) can be used to search for multiple word endings.
Example: parent* returns results for parent, parents, parental, parenthood
(Note: It will not return results for related words like mother or father.)
A question mark (?) can be used as a wildcard.
Example: wom?n returns results for woman or women
Quotation marks (" ") can be used to search for an exact phrase.
Example: "mental health"
Check out the Advanced Search features of the databases. They are different for each database. Most will have a box to limit to peer-reviewed articles. Some have the option to limit to Evidence-based Practice. Others will allow you to limit to specific journals. Look at the advanced features to see what will help you get the results that you are searching for.
You're looking for recent articles. Most databases give you the option of limiting your results to a specific range of years. This can usually be done before or after you enter your search terms. Look for something like this:
After browsing your results, you may decide that you need to refine your results. Look for "limiters", often on the left-hand side of your results. Limiters will allow you to restrict your results to specific publications, geographic areas, and more. This is useful if you are getting too many results from Asia, Africa, etc. Some databases will have a geographic limiter in the "Advanced Search" menu before you enter your search terms. Alternatively, you could use "United States" as one of your search terms.
Save some time by selecting "Choose Databases". This will allow you to search as many of our EBSCO databases as you'd like simultaneously. ***Note: This does not include ASHA. You will have to search the ASHA database seperately.***
If you see "Full Text Finder" that means the database you're using does not have the full-text of that article. You can click on "Full Text Finder" and follow the links to see if the articles is available in one of our other databases. If it is still not available, you can request the article through InterLibraryLoan. This is a free service, but it is not instantaneous. It may take several days to get the article.