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Research Resources at Crossett: Using the Databases

A primer on the various resources available for research at Crossett.

Boolean Searching

1. If you search for puppy AND kitten- you mean you only want resources that have both puppies and kittens in them. (Narrow searching)

2. If you search puppy NOT kittens or kittens NOT puppies -you mean you only want resources about puppies or about kittens, not both together. (narrow searching)

3. If you search puppies OR kittens-You mean you want resources that contain either word. You don't care which word. (broad searching) And you'll have adorable search results.

Truncation and Wildcards


1. Truncation is used where you want to search for many forms of a word, including plurals and singular words, so you put a symbol at the end of a word.

2. The symbol for truncation is usually * , but may be different for different databases.

 For example:  

    • test*- will retrieve test, tests, tester, testing, testimony, testament, testosterone, and up to thirty other totally unrelated words!
    • manage* - will retrieve manage, managed, manageable, management, manager, manageress, managerial, except for managing (which has no 'e')



1. A wildcard is a symbol which is used where you are not sure of the exact spelling, or where you want to search for both plurals and singular words.

2. The most common symbols for wildcards are ?, others use a !, others use a #. The wildcard symbol only fills the place of one letter.

 For example:

    • test?- will only retrieve test or tests
    • licence?- will only retrieve licence, licences, licenced
    • organi?ation - will retrieve organization and organisation

Quotation Marks

Use quotation marks around phrases to ensure an exact match is searched with the exact words in the same word order as inside the quote marks. This allows you to search more accurately for names.

For example: “Crossett Library”, "Donald Drumpf", "Justin Bieber Face Tattoo", etc

Limiting Searches

You may also be able to limit or narrow your search by:

1. Full text

2. Publication date (or a range of dates)

3. Publication Type(magazines, academic journals, newspapers etc)

4. Refereed / peer-reviewed articles, etc

These options are usually available in the sidebars of databases.