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EGR 314, Senior Capstone: Search Techniques

Key word search

Use Boolean logic to narrow, broaden, or refine the search results.

  • AND
    • Intersection
    • Search for two terms or phrases in the same document
    • Example:  water AND membrane

  • OR
    • Inclusion
    • Search for either term or phrase separately as well as together
    • Example:  policy OR regulation

  • NOT
    • Exclusion
    • Remove the search term or phrase from the results
    • Example:  math union NOT labor


  • Phrase searching (using quotations around phrases)
    • Examples: 
      • "water quality"
      • "drinking water"
      • "E. coli"
  • Truncation:  Search for variations in a word by using an asterisk
    • Examples:
      • filt*
        • filter
        • filtration
        • filters
        • filtering
        • filters
      • child*
        • child
        • children
  • Parenthesis:  Grouping key search terms/phrases
    • Examples:
      • drinking water AND (law OR policy OR regulation)
      • water filt* AND (e. coli OR "escherichia coli")


Topical Search

Science Direct includes a topical index which separates topics by field.  Each entry includes excerpts from scholarly articles, books, books chapters, encyclopedias, and other resources produced by Elsevier.  If you locate a pertinent resource, search for the title on the ZSR library website.  If needed, request access to the resource using interlibrary loan.