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RESEARCH GUIDES ACC Home Page

CHEM 1111 Library Research - Elements: Searching

Keywords

Keywords are words or phrases that best describe the information you want. They are the most essential parts of the question! Keywords are used for search engines on both the subscription electronic resources at ACC and the web.

 

Pick the most basic words that define your topic. In general, don't type normal sentences in search engines; just use the keywords.

Example:
What are the causes of diabetes in children?

diabetes AND children AND causes

Other Techniques

Try the following techniques to make your searches even more dynamic.

Phrase Searches
Often keywords are more than one word. Most search engines let you put quotation marks around these so only results with the exact phrase are listed.

"heart attack"

"carbon monoxide"

Truncation
Shortening a keyword to its basic root and adding a special character (usually an asterisk "*" or "?") at the end will tell the computer to search for variations on the word.

Searching for molecul* will find:

MOLECULE, MOLECULES, MOLECULAR

Note: Check the search engine help screens to see if this can be done.  It's most common on subscription databases.

Parentheses
Combines concepts and techniques. The search engine will search for what's grouped or nested inside the parentheses first.

("folic acid" OR folate) AND deficien*

Read "Questions and Problems" for your topic and list keywords

Combining Keywords

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Boolean Operators - B. D. Owens Library


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