NURS 4240: Research Process in Professional Nursing

Database Search Strategies

Advanced Search Techniques

BOOLEAN LOGIC

Uses the words AND, OR, and NOT to connect search terms.

Example 1: A search for handwashing retrieves article citations only containing that term.

Example 2: A search for: handwashing AND hospital acquired infection retrieves article citations containing BOTH terms.

Example 3: A search for hospital acquired infection OR cross infection retrieves article citations containing EITHER terms.

 

TRUNCATION

The truncation symbol (*) allows you to search for variations of a word that contain the same root or stem.

Example 1: A search for the word  nurs* will retrieve article citations containing the terms nurse, nursing, nurses, etc.

Example 2: A search for the word child* will retrieve article citations containing the terms child, childs, children, childhood, etc.

 

WILDCARDS

The wildcard symbol (?) allows you search for words that have spelling variations. 

Example 1:  A search for the word wom?n will retrieve article citations containing the terms woman, women

Example 2: A search for the word colo?r will retrieve article citations containing the terms color, colour.

 

STOP WORDS

Insignificant words that databases tend to ignore, which means you should avoid using them. Stop words vary by databases.

 Common Stop Words:       a, and, of, but

 

How to Read an Article Record in CINAHL