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HLTH 235: Food Systems

When should I search subject specific indexes or databases?

Omni is one part of a complete search. Omni includes content from the various research databases to which QUL subscribes but not everything is included. If you are looking for information on a very specific topic, or a topic that is subject specific, it is recommended that you search databases that specialize in that subject area for more thorough results.

To locate articles on your topic, use an index or a database recommended in the Finding Articles section of this course guide.

Using Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators can improve your search results and make your searching more efficient. It's important to know that Boolean Operators are the underlying logic in library databases including Omni, article indexes and even search engines such as Google Scholar.

Most library databases provide the option to select Boolean Operators on the Advanced search screen, so all you have to do is select the operator you want from a drop-down box between search boxes as shown in this example from the EBSCOhost database Environment Complete.

Boolean Operator: AND

Use AND when your research topic has more than one key term that must be present in all your search results. In this example, use it to link the key terms Covid-19 and Food Security so that both concepts appear in all your search results. Searching with AND gives you fewer results.

Boolean Operator: OR

Use OR when there are other terms that could also be used to describe the topic, including synonyms, related terms or words and phrases that have similar meaning. In this example, use OR to link Covid-19 OR Coronavirus, so that you'll get results with either concepts. Searching with OR gives you more results.

Refine Your Results

Limit your search to Peer Reviewed articles, to Source Types such as Academic Journals or by Publication Date