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EMBA & EMFBRE Resources: Searching Techniques

Searching for a phrase

One of the searching techniques that is most helpful in searching both online and in catalogs and databases is searching for a phrase.

To search for a phrase, enclose your keywords in inverted commas - " ".

The search engine will retrieve only the results that contain the keywords in the exact order specified inside the commas.

This type of searching will narrow your results to more relevant sources of information.


Truncation is a technique used to instruct search engines, electronic catalogs and databases to search for different varients of a word with just one search term.

The most popular truncation symbol is the asterisk *.


Searching for librar* will find results contatining all of the following words: library ; librarian ; librarianship

Some search engines don't provide this option, or use a differnt symbol. Check the search help for each engine or database.

Boolean operators


Restricts the searches only to specific criteria such as language, document type, date, etc. These limitations are available in the Advanced Search option in databases. Limiting your results with these criteria saves a lot of time in the long run - you will get fewer and more relevant results!

Subject Guide