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Research and Information Literacy

Start Your Research.

Find and discover relevant resources.

Essential Search Strategies

  • Consider your content type needs based upon the scope and focus of the assignment
  • Use keywords (creative keyword combinations) and synonyms to search
  • Set field filters such as: publication date, language, content type, only peer-reviewed, etc.
  • Look for related results after searches  
  • Track resource's citations/references while accessing
  • Use Boolean Operators to search (AND, OR, NOT, "", *)

Note: AND- limits, refines search results; OR- includes, expands search results; NOT- omits word/phrase from search results.

Example: "distance education" OR "virtual learning"; "biased media" AND "fake news"; swamp NOT marsh

Note: To save time and stress, keep bibliographic notes (citations) as you find and consider your resources. 

JSTOR: Effective Searching (Research Basics)

Search Strategies Files

ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy

Boolean Operations

Using Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT)

Boolean Operators are used to connect and define the relationship between your search terms. When searching electronic databases, you can use Boolean operators to either narrow or broaden your record sets. The three Boolean operators are ANDOR and NOT.

  • AND

Use AND to narrow your search. All of your search terms will show up in the retrieved records.


  • OR

Use OR to broaden your search by connecting two or more synonyms. One term, the other term, or both terms will be retrieved.


  • NOT

Use NOT to exclude term(s) from your search results.

Boolean Operators Tutorial

Video Created by Craven Community College