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Search Strategies and Technique

Boolean Search Logic and other Keyword Search Technique

Use the Boolean search logic operators 

OR  -- to group together synonymous words and phrases (inside of parentheses) in order to broaden the scope of your search and increase the number of records returned.  

AND -- to focus the scope and limit the number of returned records.

Start out thinking broadly on the search topic, group together your synonymous terms and phrases; then iteratively and progressively limit the returned results in order to focus on your specific information need.

Use inverted commas / quotation marks in "phrase searching" to instruct the search engine to look for a "literal string of text" in the exact order you specify. 

Employ the Truncation wildcard to return the stem of a word along with all of its variant right-hand grammatical endings.

Use these search strategies in combination to instruct the search engine how to process your search terms (and in what order). 

Use these strategies detailed below to enhance your keyword searches and retrieve more relevant results.

Subject Searching

Subject searching can help you identify relevant resources in your topic area.

There are a couple of ways to do a subject search:

1. Once you have identified a useful title in the QUT Library Search, click on the hyperlinks under "Subject terms" to find other items that have been assigned the same subject heading.

 

2. Search directly for subject headings from QUT Library Search. Remember to click on the "Browse by Subject term" tab.

 

Develop Your Search Methodology

Finding the Right Information (QUT only)