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International Disability Policy

This guide was designed to support the library research needs of those in the Institute on Disability and Public Policy.

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Text: 571-766-6349

 

Database Search Tips

Boolean operators:

AND - use the command word "and" to narrow a search and get fewer and more relevant results.
For example: elections and voters

OR - use the command world "or" to broaden a search and get more results. Good for synonyms and words with variant spellings. Add parentheses when using OR.
For example: (latin america or argentina or colombia)
For example: (organization or organisation)

NOT - use the command word "not" to narrow a search to get more relevant results
For example: mexico not new mexico


Truncation:

Use to find words with different word endings.
e.g. immigrant* yields immigrant, immigrants
e.g. immigra* yields immigrant, immigrants, immigrate, immigration, immigrating, etc.

Truncation (or wildcard) symbols:

• Most databases use an asterisk (*).
• LexisNexis uses an exclamation mark (!).
• AU Library catalog and World News Connection use a question mark (?).
• iPolls & RoperExpress use a percentage sign (%).
• Ovid databases use dollar sign ($).


Proximity search:

Use to find words that are close to each other on a page.
It is one way to find more relevant results.

Each family of databases has its own command words.

EBSCO:
nnumber=words near another word in any order, within a certain number

Factiva:
same=words in same paragraph
sex trafficking same ngo*

nearnumber=words near another word in any order, within a certain number
president* near3 speech

LexisNexis:
w/number=words within a specified number of words, in any order
human rights w/2 violations

w/s=words within the same sentence
crime w/s (dc or district of columbia)

w/p=words within the same paragraph
gays w/p military

ProQuest:
near/number=words near another word in any order, within a certain number
renewable energy near/5 viable

Web of Science:
same=within the same sentence