Database Searching with Boolean Operators and Wildcards

Database Searching with Boolean Operators and Wildcards


Hello everyone we are now going to
actually start searching in the databases and being a little more
creative then we have doing really basic searches in the past. So here we are at a database, a library
Database, and this is EBSCO full-text. You will find most databases will start
off in a basic search just like Google. You do have the option of going to
ëadvance searchí which I’m going to do now just because it helps illustrate a few points
a lot clearer than doing a basic search. Here we are on the ëadvanced searchí
Screen. You don’t need to actually be an advanced researcher to use the screen I
actually do advocate a lot of students using this screen because it actually
gives you all of your options in one place. So let’s get started. So let’s say,
for example, we wanted to do a search about ëmedia violence on childrení; its
a popular topic so I know weíll find a lot
of results but let’s see what we can do. So here we have ëmediaí ëviolenceí and ëchildrení. Iím now using the boxes in the ëadvanced
Searchí screen to inject the Boolean Operators that we saw on the last video and you’ll see here we have ëmediaí, which
is one concept, Is joined with the second
concept with ëandí. So itís media AND violence AND children. So first off we break up to three main
concepts that we are actually searching for and let’s see what we actually get. Okay starting off we have about 1400 different results. Just by looking at this first one ìMedia
Violence, Physical Aggression and Relational Aggression in School Aged
Childrenî definitely seems like were on-topic but I’m not at all surprised when you
have something like this that is such a popular topic but let’s actually
look and see if we can go way beyond this really basic search that we
did. So let’s actually start looking at the
concepts themselves. For example, ëmediaí is a very broad term
that covers at multiple types of media obviously like I said earlier television, movies,
video games; If there’s one in particular that you
want to focus on you may want to try ìmedia OR video gamesî. But if you’re still interested in all
forms of media you may want to clearly specify each one of those types so we could have ëmediaí or ëvideo gamesí or
ëtelevisioní or ëmoviesí. Sometimes is it is important to do this because an article may only talk about
television or may only talk about movies and if you’re actually trying to get a
broad perspective then youíll want to pinpoint the different types of media
that you really want to look at. Because using the term ëmediaí may not actually
pull all of those results. Next we have ëviolenceí. We notice down here another term that
they use is ëaggressioní so you may want to say ëviolenceí OR ëaggressioní but another thing to keep in mind is
that violence is only sort of one conjugation of that particular word so
we may also want to say ëviolentí. You’ll notice that databases are very
particular and very precise so it will not pick out the word ëviolentí unless you actually put it in there even
though you have the word ëviolenceí because the two letters for violence, the way it ends, is
different than the one letter for Violent. We will actually handle how to fix this a little later on. Another option, of course, is to play with the
word ëchildrení. So ìor child or Childsî, perhaps ëOne childís aggressioní or let’s do ëkidsí or ëyouthsí or maybe perhaps there’s another option you
would like to throw in there thatís not. So let’s see just how broad weíll get. Okay, so, we have about 4700
different results. Youíll notice too our number one result is different than
it was last time. You’ll actually have to go through the
result list and see has this actually changed? Are the items more relevant? Or not? But what you’re doing essentially is
giving yourself more options when you provide more terms to search. You’ll notice here that we are using ëorí
The Boolean Operator ëorí to bring together different synonyms or like concepts. and we do that each individually for each concept and
then use ëandí to actually limit the search to just these three concepts. And hopefully that makes sense. So I’m going to show you one extra trick In playing with your actual search string,
which is what we tend to call this here, if you don’t want to have to type in all
of this another option is to use what we call a
wild card or truncation. It is when you throw in a particular
Symbol, usually it’s an asterisk, or an exclamation point, but what you’re doing essentially is
telling the database that you want to pick up any word that
starts off this way and ends in any other form. So this should pick up both ëviolenceí
and ëviolentí if that makes sense. Another option for us is to get rid of all
of these and just truncate it. Now in the old days you used to actually
have to do this as well for anything that was singular and plural but most data
bases have now recognized in regards to words that signify multiples With ësí that it will pick up both
the singular and the plural. So let’s try searching this. And you notice we picked up just a few more
results but it is slightly cleaner. A cleaner