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Sciences and Technology Database Help: Home

A collection of videos and help guides on commonly used databases in the Sciences and Technology faculties.

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators allow the user to do a type of search allowing users to combine keywords with operators such as AND, NOT and OR to further produce more relevant results.

Research Basics

Basic Search tips:

  1. Identify what you would like to search for.
  2. Brainstorm and identify keywords for your search.
  3. Put your kewords together with boolean operators and add truncation for a better search.
  4. Examine your results and revise your search terms if necessary.


Truncation is a searching technique used in databases in which a word ending is replaced by a symbol.

Frequently used truncation symbols include the asterisk (*), a question mark (?) or a dollar sign ($).

Different databases use different truncation symbols so it is important to check the database 'Help' information or 'Search Tips' for details about which symbol to use.

Truncation enables different forms of a word to searched for simultaneously, and will increase the number of search results found.

For example:  If the truncation symbol is *, then the truncated word,  laugh*, will search for results containing laugh, laughter, laughing etc.

Note: Placing the truncation symbol too soon in a word should be avoided. 

For example: hum* will search for results containing humour, but it will also retrieve unrelated terms like human, humbug, humerus, hummus etc.