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Education Research Jump Start

Use the Search Box Options Better

Use the Search Box Options Better

Phrase search

Use quotation Marks around your phrase

Truncation (sometimes called “wild card”)

  • Example: photo* looks for photo, photograph, photography, photographer, etc…

Use an asterisk (*) with a word stub

Choose a field to search

  • Often searching the ABSTRACT, SUBJECT, or TITLE field will narrow your search
  • (An ABSTRACT is a summary of the article)

Drop-down menus

Resource category limiters

  • When was it published?
  • Scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles only?
  • Etc.

Drop-down menus or check boxes

Boolean operators –see examples below

  • Family AND sibling will find fewer results
  • Family OR sibling will find more results
  • Family NOT sibling will eliminate certain results

Drop-down menus

Still Not Finding What You Need?

Still Not Finding What You Need?

  • Change the terms you use in your search. Sometimes by using a synonymous word, you'll get a very different results list.
  • Use fewer search terms. A search looking for all the words diabetes women Dominican elderly insulin therapy will have fewer results than a search for the single word diabetes. Removing search terms will make your search more general.
  • Remove limiters. Limiters (such as date and format) give you a more targeted results list, but sometimes limit your results too much.
  • Try searching in a database that specializes in a certain subject. You can look in discipline-specific databases (click on the "subjects" drop-down menu) and you can consult research guides created by Hostos librarians. Be flexible and willing to try several different databases.
  • Think more broadly about your topic. For example, if you're researching gentrification in the South Bronx, you might broaden your search to look at gentrification in cities more generally.