|Books & eBooks
|Articles & Reports
|Research & Referencing
Have a question? Chat with the Library from 8:30am - 5pm Monday - Thursday and 8:30am - 4pm on Fridays
You can also check our FAQs for answers
Use the advanced search option of the Library's article database to find academic, professional, and reliable articles directly related to your research topic.
Advanced search terms can be structured by adding or excluding words from your search using the "AND", "OR", and NOT dropdown options. These refine your searches by:
For example, searching for:
dog AND cat
Will retrieve articles that contain both terms, narrowing the number of results retrieved.
For example, searching for
dog OR cat
Will retrieve articles that contain at least one term or both, increasing the number of results retrieved.
For example, searching for
dog NOT cat
Will retrieve articles that contain the word "dog", but do not include "cat", narrowing the number of results retrieved.
You can also use the advanced search to select where your words appear. These are defined using the 'Fields' options. Useful fields include:
Below is a screenshot of the Advanced Search screen. Hover your mouse over the interactive 'i' buttons to read more about each search option.
There are also symbols that you can use with your keywords to perform truncated or wildcard searches to make your searches more efficient by expanding and refining searches in a database:
Truncated searches: Uses an asterix (*) to represent one or more characters at the end of your search term. For example, a search for "comput*" would bring back results including computer, computing and computation. Use a truncated search when you want to broaden your search to include variations of a word. Truncated searches help you to search more efficiently because you won't have to individually search for every variation of the word.
Wildcard searches (single character): Uses a question mark (?) to replace an unknown character. For example, a search for "wom?n" would return results for women and woman. This is also useful is searching for words with both English and American spellings, for example analyse/analyze.
Wildcard searches (extra character): Uses a hash (#) where an alternate spelling of a word may contain an extra character. For example, a search for "colo#r" would return results including both color and colour.
Troubleshooting Your Search
Database searching often involves some trial and error - don't be discouraged if you don't find exactly what you're looking for the first time you search. You may need to try different combinations of keywords, fields etc. before you find the perfect article. The table below has some solutions for some common difficulties you may encounter during your research:
|Very few/no results
|Too many results
|Results aren't relevant or at academic/professional standard
Google Search Shortcuts
Google has a number of search shortcuts that can make it quicker and easier to find the information you need. Here are 5 Google search shortcuts that will help you save time and be more productive in your searches:
|Searching for an exact phrase
|"To be or not to be"
|Remove words from your search
|Search for similar words/synonyms
|Search within a particular website or domain
|Search within a certain range (price, measurement, date)
|chatbot technology 2017..2018
Google Advanced Search
Google also has an Advanced Search option that allows you to combine a variety of search options.
Here's a short clip clarifying how to use "Boolean operators"; the "AND", "OR", and "NOT" search term options.