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The video below explains these these operators and provides more examples. (4 min)
Search exact phrase that is within the quotation marks " "
Ex: "music performance" will find results with those words in that order, but won't find similar phrases, like "performance of music"
Find all forms of the root word that ends in an asterisk *
Ex: teen* will find the words teen, teens,teenager, teenagers, teenaged, etc.
Tip: The Truncation symbol (*) may also be used between words to match any word. For example, a midsummer * dream will return results that contain the phrase, a midsummer night’s dream.
Group search terms together using parentheses ( )
Much like the order of operations in math, parentheses tell the database what order to do the search in
Ex: (juvenile OR young adult) AND fiction
The video below covers these modifiers with additional examples. (4 min)
Wildcards are represented by a question mark ? or a pound sign #.
To use the ? wildcard, enter your search terms and replace each unknown character with a ?. The database finds all citations of that word with the ? replaced by a letter.
For example, type ne?t to find all citations containing neat, nest or next. Most databases do not find net because the wildcard replaces a single character.
Tip: When searching for a title that ends in a question mark, the symbol should be removed from the search in order to ensure results will be returned.
To use the # wildcard, enter your search terms, adding the # in places where an alternate spelling may contain an extra character. The database finds all citations of the word that appear with or without the extra character.
For example, type colo#r to find all citations containing color or colour.