Electronic Searching Strategies:
a) First you need to decide what it is you are going to research.
- Formulate a question.
- Example) I want to know about why it is important to use native plants in garden.
But, what is the actual problem? Invasive, non-native plants taking over.
b) Keywords - main ideas, synonyms
- What are the keywords or main ideas you need to use when searching?
- Example) native plants; invasive plants; gardens
- Any synonyms (words with the same meanings) that we might use in the search?
- Example) native and indigenous
c) Try Narrowing your search with Boolean Searching -
d) Try Phrase searching:
- Look for an exact phrase by adding quotation marks
- Example) “native california plants”
- The quotes tell it to search for those words in that exact order
e) Wildcard - *
- To expand your search to include all forms of the word (remember that computers are very literal; they look for exactly what you type in)
- Examples) plant* = plant + plants
- recycl* = recycle + recycling
- activ* = active + activism + activist
- Let's try it: Example) invasive plant* and native plant garden*
f) Internet searching: Limit by types of websites
- What type of website would you like?
- Limit by typing site:.gov or site:.org
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