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6.6: Limits

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    Always look for an advanced search option so you can see other ways the database allows you to search. Look for limits such as peer reviewed, scholarly (See 2D), date ranges, format and so forth. Most often, date ranges are the date of publication, not the date of your topic. This is not always true though. Notice that the limits are more controlled than the field searching. Field searching lets you type in anything, while the limits present more controlled options.

    Not getting enough

    • Reconsider your truncations.
    • Do you need to narrow your topic?
    • Try selecting title or abstract instead of multi-fields or full-text field.
    • Can you narrow your topic by adding a word from another of your grid?
    • Don’t use the Boolean OR.
    • Look for and try controlled vocabulary field searches
    • Try a subject specific database.

    Not getting enough

    Get rid of some of your Boolean AND combinations.

    • Try synonyms.
    • Find more terms from encyclopedias and text-books to use in Boolean AND searches.
    • Use a Boolean OR search. Refer to your grid or check with a librarian to be sure you are using it correctly.
    • Try selecting a different field such as full text instead of the default.
    • Are there words you can truncate?
    • Check the spelling. Are there alternative spellings?
    • Try a different database.

    6.6: Limits is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Carol M. Withers with Bruce Johnson & Nathan Martin.

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