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Organizational & Professional Ethics: Research Tips

Search Strategies

How Search Strategies Work 

 

Search Strategy

What it does

Example

AND

(Boolean Operator)

All terms must appear

Narrows your search

Fewer results

Use to include multiple unique concepts

“coffee AND Brazil” searches for all articles that include both terms, coffee and Brazil

OR

(Boolean Operator)

Either term may appear

Broadens your search

More results

Use for related concepts

“coffee OR caffeine” searches for either term in the articles

NOT

(Boolean Operator)

Removes a term from your search

Narrows your search

Fewer results

Use for concepts you do not want to include

“South America NOT Brazil” searches for articles on South America and removes articles with the word Brazil in them

Phrases

Search for exact phrases

Narrows your search

Fewer results

“ecological tourism” searches for that phrase in that particular order

Truncation

Searches for all forms of a word

Broadens your search

More results

Use to search for the root word of a concept

Add an asterisk * to the root or stem of a word

A search for “tour*” will look for tour, tourism, tourist

 

Using Boolean Operators

 

Using Limits in Your Search

What are limits and why use them?

Limits are helpful in focusing your search.  Once you've done your initial search you can use some limits to help you narrow your results to a more manageable amount of information.

  • Date:  limit results to a specific time frame
  • Peer review:  limit to only peer-reviewed articles
  • Full text:  find only the articles available in full text  **TIP:  you can request an article that isn't available through Interlibrary Loan
  • Publication type:  limit results to meta analysis, reviews, systematic reviews, research articles, and evidence based practice.

Useful Terms

Books are assigned subject heading that indicate what a book is about.   A subject search retrieves only books that are assigned the subject terms searched.  Below is a list of potential subject terms you could use in a search.

  • business ethics
  • business and politics AND moral and ethical aspects 
  • corporations corrupt practices
  • educational leadership AND moral and ethical aspects 
  • ethics, clinical
  • executives conduct of life
  • finance AND moral and ethical aspects 
  • leadership AND moral and ethical aspects 
  • marketing AND moral and ethical aspects 
  • medical ethics
  • professional ethics
  • social responsibility of business

If you cannot find a book using subject terms, broaden your search by doing a keyword search instead. A keyword search will retrieve terms in the table of contents in addition to subject terms. 

Remember to truncate keyword terms to retrieve all variations of the term. Broaden your search by including synonyms and connecting them with OR. Examples of keywords include:

  • moral* or ethic*

Need Research Help? Ask a Librarian!

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