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Criminal Justice


Charles Seale Hayne Library - supporting your learning

Think about your words (search terms).

The best searching requires some planning before sitting at a computer - but you still have to be flexible enough to introduce new terms as necessary.

Tips that might help!

Phrase searching - got some words that must appear together? Use speech marks to lock the words together, eg: "young adult".

Truncating - got several words with the same stem? Check the Search Help to see if truncation is allowed, eg: anxiety, anxieties, anxious, anxiously, anxiousness - could all be searched for by using anxi followed by the identified truncation symbol (ie: anxi*)

Spelling - there are two main versions of English - UK and US. Spelling of search terms could affect your results. The most common variants are: ae/e (paediatric/pediatric); ou/o (colour/color; behaviour/behavior); s/z (marginalised/marginalized); ll/l (counselling/counseling). You may have to enter the variants using OR (see below) to get all of the results!

Meanings - one word can have many meanings (think about the word 'trunk'!) - this can affect your results or explain the odd 'oddity'!

Synonyms - lots of words are used to describe the same thing (ie: research / inquiry / search / study / survey / analysis, etc). You may have to enter the various words in order to get all of the results.

Searching is like playing snap whilst wearing a blindfold! You are trying to guess the words and phrases authors use when writing about the subject area you are researching.

Combining terms

Two important words, OR and AND (they must be in capitals), will help when searching.

You can combine ORs and ANDs within your search.

If you have only one search box, then bracket the ORs and connect the brackets with AND, eg: (child* OR teen* OR youth OR juvenile) AND (anxi* OR fear OR phobia) AND (counseling OR counselling).

If the search gives you multiple boxes, then place your ORs in each box (no need for brackets) and connect the boxes with AND.

NB: It is best to not use NOT.