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E 101: Library Orientation

This guide serves to collect the resources discussed and used in the E 101 Library Orientation class.

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

Google Search Operators: Search Better

Operators are symbols to make your search more accurate. Complete an algorithm. Classic operators are:  "and, or, or not"
- (minus) symbol: If you want to exclude a term, links, or sites


  Civil War –

Site: only search on certain sites:

  Afghanistan site:nytimes

link: search for sites link to a certain URL


* (asterisk): use as a place holder for an unknown word or term. Also called a wildcard.

     four *, seven years ago 

Info: Get information about the url and related sites to your search. Can include cache information too.


Filetype: look for a particular type of file like pdf, jpg, png, etc.

  non-hodgkins lymphoma filetype:pdf

Intitle:  Look for a word in the title


You can combine any of these operators with a space to get results:


author: andrew russell intitle: networking filetype:pdf

Database Search Help Links

Guides from the databases themselves on how to use them more efficiently.