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CBE - School of Economics Guide: Search Techniques

Boolean Operators

Search Operators (called Boolean Operators) allow you to fine-tune your search by using the operators ANDOR, and NOT to combine search terms to broaden or narrow your search. You should always type these operators in capital letters.

  • AND will combine the terms so that both or all terms must be in the results. This is a narrowing technique that makes your search more specific.
  • OR will combine the terms so that one or other (or both or all) of the terms will be in the results. This is a broadening technique that gets more results.
  • NOT will exclude results that contain a particular term. This is a narrowing technique. It's not used very often because it's probably better to search for what you do want rather than for what you don't want.

    Venn Diagrams showing the 3 types of search operators - AND, OR, and NOT

 

 

 

Keyword VS Phrase searches

Keyword searches are when multiple words entered together in the search box are searched for separately as keywords. With keywords search, imagine an invisible AND in between every word in the search box. If you want to search for a word (or words)  as a phrase you need to put it (or them) in double quotation marks (“      “)

For example:

If you enter, in the search box: Financial Investment You will get results that have Financial AND Investment [not necessarily occurring together]
If you want to get results for Financial Investment as a phrase You will need to enter, in the search box: "Financial Investment"

 

Space

When Boolean operators are used, spaces between words are treated as an implied "AND" until another operator is used in the query.

When the "-" or "+" operators are used, a space should not be placed between the operator and the word entered. The "-" and "+" operators only apply to the word directly attached to the operator.

Google Search Operators

Search operator Meaning Example
$ Search for a price Siberian husky $700
.. Search within a range of numbers camera $50..$100
- Exclude word(s) from search dog -corgi -husky
“” Exact phrase “Siberian Husky”
| Combine searches (works like Boolean operator OR) husky | corgi
OR

Combine searches (Put "OR" between each search query)

marathon OR race
site: Search in a specific domain or website corgi site:bbc.co.uk
"related:" Search for related sites related:springeropen.com
in Type in between units to convert 25 cm in feet
filetype: Search for a specific type of file corgi filetype:ppt
define: Search for the definition of a word define:canine
intext: Search for words in a webpage's body text https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk intext:corgi
inurl: Search for web pages with a certain word in the URL inurl:corgi

 

Search Tips and Techniques for Databases

Boolean Operators


And ‐ combines search terms so that each search result contains all of the terms.
For example, education and technology finds articles that contain both terms.


Or ‐ combines search terms so that each search result contains at least one of the terms.
For example, education or technology finds results that contain either term. You can also
use SYNONYMS.


Not ‐ excludes terms so that each search result does not contain any of the terms that follow
it.
For example, education not technology finds results that contain the term education but
not the term technology.


2. Quotation Marks'  ' or Brackets()
Use single quotation marks to group words together.
For example ‘south africa’, or (world health organization)


3. Wildcards?#
The wildcard is represented by a question mark ? or a hash sign #.
‐ To use the ? wildcard, enter your search terms and replace each unknown character
with a ?. EBSCOhost finds all citations of that word with the ? replaced by a letter.
For example, type organi?ation to find all citations containing organisation or
organization.
‐ To use the # wildcard, enter your search terms, adding the # in places where an
alternate spelling may contain an extra character. EBSCOhost finds all citations of the
word that appear with or without the extra character.
For example, type colo#r to find all citations containing color or colour.

 

4. Truncation*
Truncation is represented by an asterisk (*). To use truncation, enter the root of a search
term and replace the ending with an *. EBSCOhost finds all forms of that word.
For example, type comput* to find the words computer or computing,
or type negotia* to find the words negotiate, negotiation, or negotiable.
Note: The Truncation symbol (*) may also be used between words to match any word.
For example, a midsummer * dream will return results that contain the exact phrase,
a midsummer night's dream.


2. WHERE TO SEARCH
1. UJLink (UJ Library Catalogue) Search for BOOKS

  •  Levels of Relevance ‐ Most Relevant; Highly Relevant; Very Relevant; Relevant; Other Relevant

2. E‐Books (Electronic Books)

  •  Publishers’ Databases (Springer, Wiley, CRC)

All books on this database are from the SAME Publisher, with
straightforward downloads.

  •  Aggregators 
    • EBook Central (ProQuest)
    • Ebsco
    • Myilibrary

Books are from VARIOUS Publishers; Sign in to download; Access
to full text for up to 21 days; thereafter access expires.

  •  Download Software:

Adobe Digital Editions – once‐off For Desktops and Laptops
Bluefire Reader for Tablets

3. Databases
Multi‐Disciplinary:

  • EBSCOhost ‐ ScienceDirect
  • SpringerLink ‐ Taylor & Francis
  • Wiley Online Library ‐ A – Z List

Subject‐Specific:

  • Emerald
  • ProQuest Business Collection

South African Content:

  • SA ePublications

4. Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com
Settings – Library Links – Search for ‘University of Johannesburg’ – Select
first 4 Options ‐ Save

5. UJoogle: https://johannesburg.summon.serialssolutions.com/#!/ – One‐Stop shop, which searches the Catalogue and 80% of the
Databases)

6. Faculty Subject Guides
Library Guides per Faculty / College with subject specific Library
Resources and other useful information.

7. PREVIOUS RESEARCH (for Post‐Graduates)
UJContent (Local: UJ); Nexus (National); ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
(International)
When an article is not available in FULLTEXT on a Database,
or Search for an Article from a Reference List:

1. PROCEDURE IN UJLink (UJ LIBRARY CATALOGUE)
Copy the JOURNAL TITLE in the Reference
Go to the Library Catalogue (UJLink)
Click on TITLE Search
Paste the JOURNAL TITLE into the search box and SUBMIT
In the results, look for the link to the ELECTRONIC RESOURCE
Verify the coverage of that Database
Click on the Database link
On the Database, scroll down and click on the date
Then click on the Volume and Issue
Find the ARTICLE and the Link to the FULLTEXT

2. USE THE SAME PROCEDURE TO FIND AN ARTICLE FROM A REFERENCE LIST

3. A‐Z LIST – Find Full Text
This is an Alphabetical list of ALL the electronic JOURNAL and BOOK titles in the UJ Library.
It indicates on which database(s) a journal title or book title can be found.