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Research Tips & Techniques Guide

Strategies to increase efficiency in research
 Let the database do the work: quality over quantity 
There are two search interfaces in most databases: 
  • Basic Search 

  • Advanced Search                                                                             

Always use Advanced Search, when available to:
  • combine keyword concepts with the connectors AND, OR, NOT 

  • manage your results through use of the search, field and results limiters

Sample topic
1.  Find articles on nursing leadership in the hospital setting
Break the topic into searchable keywords and phrases​:
  • nursing leadership
  • hospitals
  • hospital setting
2. Apply:


  • truncation  *
  • proximity quotes  "   "

​Using Truncation

  • when there is a common root prefix increase results with truncation:
  •   child* = child, childish, children, childless, childlessness

  • saves time on repetitive searches.  

Using Proximity Quotes
  • to keep the words together and increase relevant results                                                     

  • Eg. "United States"    "Climate Change"

3. Put keywords into advanced search boxes.                                                                                                                                
"nurs* leadership"
AND hospitals
4. Apply other Field or Search limiters as desired and then  hit Enter  
  • After searching, apply Results Limiters
  •  See Using Limiters page for more ideas
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