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Chemistry: Home

Search Library Resources


Keyword Development

Keywords or search terms are the terms that you enter into your database search boxes.  They represent the main topic or concepts of your research and are words used in everyday life.  

Selecting keywords is a multi-step process:

  • identify the main concepts or terms of your topic
  • identify the synonyms and antonyms that could also be used to describe your topic
  • identify professional terms on your topic

Boolean Operators help narrow or broaden your set of results.  The three basic boolean operators are:  AND, OR, and NOT

  • AND, narrows your results and tells the database that ALL terms must be present
  • OR, expands your results and tells the database that ANY of the terms must be present
  • NOT, excludes words from your search and tells the database to ignore concepts related


Boolean Sample

Try using something called 'boolean logic'. You can use the words 'and' 'or' and 'not' to help narrow your results. 

Boolean logic

OneSearch Tips

  • To find scholarly journal articles: In your search results, in the light-blue left-hand column, check "Journals (Scholarly / Peer Reviewed) " under "Refine your results."
  • To find magazines and newspapers: In your search results, in the light-blue left-hand column, under "Source Types," select "Periodicals."
    * You may want to add the names of popular magazines or newspapers to your search. For example: New York Times for newspapers and Newsweek or Time for magazines.