Think like a Scientist as you try out the databases! What subjects appear to be covered in this database? Did something unexpected happen when you searched (e.g. expected to get more or fewer results)? What happens in you try different terms or limiter options? Are there any special advanced search features?
Boolean Logic: watch this short video on Boolean operators (e.g. AND; OR or NOT)
Parentheses: using parenthesis along with Boolean operators can help the database know what results you want (read the Boolean operators in the correct order).
In the EBSCO databases I will usually put synonyms in the same box with an OR and different concepts each in their own box (the boxes effectively work as parentheses in the search:
Truncation symbols: most databases allow the use of * to truncate a word. In searching it will return results for any word that starts with the characters you enter for example: nurs* = nurse, nurses, nursing, and nursery (this can be very helpful if a word has multiple endings, but also note that this last word, nursery, actually has a different meaning than the rest, so sometimes truncating can bring in some irrelevant results.
These are the questions you will need to answer:
When answering about your search terms and process question, please be thoughtful and thorough, For example (using a completely different database and topic):
I did a search in Biological Abstracts for (fungi and bioactive compounds), and then when I was looking through them several were on cancer, so I added that to my search instead of bioactive compounds:
(fungi and breast cancer) - there were 319 results, next I decided to broaden out fungi and also search for mushrooms
((fungi or mushroom) and breast cancer) - 462 results, looking through these results, I realized that while they had the words fungi or mushroom in the record, they weren't really looking at the fungi as a bioactive compound, so I decided to add that back in
((fungi or mushroom) and (bioactive or biologically active) and breast cancer) - 49 results, this seemed reasonable, so i decided to use limiters to bring my number of results down more
so using the above search I limited my results to the last 5 years - 30 results
then I said the word Cancer had to be in the title of the article - 11 results
of these 11 - many were available via full-text through Google Scholar, so I had my pick of articles and decided on this one.