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Chemical & Materials Engineering

Search Strategies

Search Strategies for Databases and Search Engines

1. Always type AND, OR, and NOT in capitalized form.

2 . Always use synonyms. Group similar words or synonyms with OR and parenthesis. Group different concepts together

with AND.

3. Use wildcard (*) toward the end of a keyword to retrieve all variations of that word. [Do not use it on Google]

4. Use double quotes (“”) around two or more words when you want the database or search engine to search for those

words as a phrase.

5. Always do a comprehensive search and then narrow it down.

6. Build your vocabulary as you search for articles in different databases and search engines.

Google Search Techniques






Automatic spell-check

Search for a specific phrase → "Computer Simulation”

Exclude words using '-' sign → Games -online

[no space after minus sign]

Combine search using OR → race OR marathon

Word in the title ​→ allintitle:“real-time simulation”

[no space after colon]

Words in the text ​→ allintext:“real-time simulation”

[no space after colon]

Related website search →

[To retrieve similar sites]

Specific document type → "augmented reality" filetype:ppt

[no space after colon]

Search within a specific website → "SARS fever"

[no space after colon]

View cached version of a site →

[no space after colon]

Use @ for social media → @orkut

Use $ to return price → Laptop $500

Search # → #sjsuspartans

Other Search Techniques

  • You can perform a private search on other Google products. Just type 'my' followed by a keyword. The following search return correct results: my flights, my reminders, my packages, my calendar, my events, my photos, my bills and my reservations 
    Note: You need to sign in your Gmail account first.
  • Timer ⇒ 20 min timer
  • Stopwatch ⇒ stopwatch
  • Calculator ⇒ 48512 * 1.02
  • Unit converter ⇒ degrees to Fahrenheit
  • Plot graphs ⇒ sin(x), e^(x)