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Economics & Business: Home

For Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, and Finance majors

Getting Started

IDENTIFY KEYWORDS
The building block of a library database search is keywords. Keywords are central ideas or terms within your research question or problem. 

BOOLEAN SEARCH OPERATORS
Once you have your keywords identified (2-3 is a good place to begin), you then need to connect them together in a way the database understands how to search. This is done using the Boolean search operators AND, OR, and NOT. Connecting keywords using these search operators creates a search string. 

  • AND - narrow search, used to combine terms together and focus search results
  • OR - broad search, used to includes results that contain similar or like words, such as synonyms
  • NOT - narrow search by exclusion, used to exclude results containing a particular keyword

SEARCH STRINGS
We call the written version of your keywords with boolean search operators the search string. Writing your search string at the beginning of your research process will help you better approach searching in library databases.

Example search string
buyer OR consumer AND habits OR trends AND twentieth century

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