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Search Strategies - Best Practices

Parentheses

Parentheses: Think of these in the same way they are used in Algebra (PEMDAS). Anything outside of the parentheses is applied throughout the phrase within. This technique broadens your result list and helps account for variations in phrasing, commonly used acronyms, etc..

Structure

Actual Search

Male AND (BPD OR Borderline Personality Disorder)

Male AND BPD

Male AND Borderline Personality Disorder


 

Bonus

By combining all the techniques above, you can create one complex search from multiple simple searches.

Review the example below.

 

Structure

Actual Search

(Autism OR “Autism Spectrum Disorder”) AND (Wom!n OR Female*)

Autism AND Woman

Autism AND Women

Autism AND Female

Autism AND Females

“Autism Spectrum Disorder” AND Woman

“Autism Spectrum Disorder” AND Women

“Autism Spectrum Disorder” AND Female

“Autism Spectrum Disorder” AND Females


Bonus 2.0

Did you know you can use these same techniques in Google?  You can always access these tools in Google by clicking on the gear-shaped menu in the upper right corner of a result list and choosing “Advanced Search.”