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Summer STEM Research: Search Strategies

Tutorial: Finding Articles

Search Strategies

Quotation Marks

Put phrases in quotation marks to search for the entire phrase.

Searching for native american will find results with the word "native" or the word "american."

Searching for "native american" will find results about Native Americans.

Boolean Operators

Boolean (BOO-LEE-IN) operators are another useful way to refine your search.

Put the word AND (in ALL-CAPS) between two keywords and your search will pull up only results that have *both* keywords.

Put the word OR (in ALL-CAPS) between two keywords and your search will pull up results that have either one keyword, or the other, or both.


Truncation, also called stemming, is a technique that broadens your search to include various word endings and spellings.

To use truncation, enter the root of a word and put the truncation symbol at the end. The database will return results that include any ending of that root word.


  • child* = child, childs, children, childrens, childhood
  • genetic* = genetic, genetics, genetically

Truncation symbols may vary by database; common symbols include: *, !, ?, or #


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Michelle Twait
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