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Keeping Track

The ability to properly cite and link back to the articles that you have found is essential.  Permalinks and DOIs are two persistent linking methods that ensure that you will always be able to find the article that you cited.

Permalinks within an article database

  • Persistent links that will connect you to your article within the article database.
  • Especially helpful if you want an easy link to the full-text of an article.
  • May not work for someone outside UNF because their organization does not subscribe to the database.

DOIs: Digital Object Identifiers

  • Persistent link to the article information (and sometimes the full text of the article) on the publisher's website.
  • The standardized method of sharing links among scholars.

Search Strategies

The key to retrieving the desired results when searching is to use common search techniques that can be applied in almost any databases, including article databases, library catalogs, and commercial search engines.

If you search a database and do not get the results you expect, ASK for advice

Boolean Operators

Boolean searching is used by most databases to focus searches.  A few tips:

  • Three Boolean operators are recognized by most databases: AND, OR, and NOT
  • Sometimes operators must be written in all CAPS (this also helps you keep track of your search terms)
  • The default in most databases is to combine terms with the AND operator
  • Databases generally have an order in which they process Boolean terms, tut that order may differ between databases.  Use parentheses to change the processing order.  Always check the parentheses after a search to be certain the database put them where you expected.
    •  Hurricane AND ("power poles" OR "transmission lines") is not the same as
    • (Hurricane AND "power poles") OR "transmission lines"
  • Use quotation marks for phrases

Use AND to connect two or more concepts

  • Narrows your search
  • Retrieve fewer results
  • Results will contain both or all search terms

Use OR to connect two or more similar or related concepts (synonyms)

  • Broadens your search
  • Retrieve more results
  • Results will contain any of your search terms

Uae NOT to exclude concepts from your search

  • Narrows your search
  • Tells the database to ignore results with one concept (even if those results contain other concepts used in the search)
hurricane AND "power poles" "power poles" or "transmission lines" aquifers NOT rocks

Other Search Options

Wildcard ? (varies across databases) Used to replace a single character, either insider or at the right end of a word.  Multiple wildcards  can be used to represent multiple characters.


Finds: engineer, engineers


Truncation / Stemming

*, !, ?, #

varies across databases

Used to retrieve variations of the search term.  Use the truncation character at the end (right-hand truncation) or in the middle of search terms. 

Stemming determines the suffix of a words and allows you to search for the term as entered, as well as the root word, and other words formed with possible suffixes.


Finds: computer, computers, computerize, computation, computerization


Finds: color, colour


Finds: manage, managed, manager, managers, managing, management

Available in Engineering Village, Proquest,
Exact Phrase Quotation Marks Used to search for an exact phrase or phrases containing stop words (AND, OR, NOT, NEAR).

"near field scanning"

"not to exceed"

Available in Engineering Village, Proquest,IEEE Xplore
Stop Words   Common words that are ignored by search engines.    
Field Searching   Codes that allow you to search individual parts of a record/citation and limit your search.  Look under Advanced Search or for a drop-down menu.

SU: hurricane

Finds: records for which hurricane is a primary subject

Available in Engineering Village, Proquest,IEEE Xplore