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Find tools and resources to jumpstart your research in any sciences course.

Search strategies

  • Determine some keywords from your research question.
  • Consider synonyms for the keywords, which may be used to expand your search.
  • Keep track of searches and filters used.
  • Keep track of databases used.

For example, if your keyword is MICROBIAL, try searching related terms such as MICROBIOLOGY, MICROBIOME, SOIL, BACTERIA, and so on.

Boolean operators

Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) are applied to connect keywords in your search. When searching databases, journals, or the online catalog, use Boolean operators to either narrow or expand your search.

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Wildcard character

The wildcard character is the asterisk symbol (*) most of the time. Using this provides some flexibility in your search so that you get results for different versions of the same word. It is really helpful when dealing with prefixes and suffixes of words.

For example, searching "acid*" will give you results for "acidity" and "acidification" in addition to the results for the original term "acid."