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CAL 103: Writing and Communication

This guide will help CAL 103 students get started with their research.

Search Term Equivalents

For the most part, search engines and databases use the same or similar language and vocabulary in their search. However, Google and other major search engines try to be much more conversational in their language than the databases are, which goes back to the days when databases used very specific terms and if you didn't know how to speak "database" you wouldn't be able to find anything. Searching a database for a question will bring back results that include every word being searched, such as "and" or "the," which Google's algorithm knows to ignore, so you must approach searching a database as different than searching Google. Below find a breakdown of the different but similar terms used in most library resources, Google, and Wikipedia, and then further explanation of how to search. See Database Search Help for a list of search help sites for most of our major databases.

 

 

Search Term Equivalents

Term OneSearch & Databases Google
AND

AND
ex: [strawberry AND banana]

OneSearch also accepts
+keyword

ex: [strawberry +banana]

N/A (it's automatically included when 2+ words are listed)

NOT

NOT
ex: [strawberry NOT banana]

OneSearch also accepts
-keyword

ex: [strawberry -banana]

 -keyword

OR

OR

ex: [strawberry OR banana]

OR
Wildcard/
Truncation

Wildcards:
# (single letter)
$ (multiple letters)

ex: [engine#] = engine, engines

Truncation: *

ex: [engine*] =
engine, engineer, engineering, engineered (etc.)

 *
ex: [lemon * muffins] =
lemon blueberry muffins, lemon poppy-seed muffins
Exact phrase

"Exact phrase"

ex: "mechanical engineering"

"Exact phrase"

Other Searching Tips

Within a site: site:website.com

ex: [egypt site:nytimes.com]

Social media search:
@
#

Let's Get Boolean

"Boolean" search terms (named for George Boole, 19th century English mathematician) refer to the usage of and, not, and or to unite keywords in search strings. The different terms return different results:

A AND B = The narrowest: Results that only include both keywords A and B

A NOT B = Results that include A except where B is also mentioned

A OR B = The broadest: Everything that mentions A and everything that mentions B

Searching the Internet

The internet is a wild place; here is some useful info to help you search it better.