Using Boolean Operators when searching will give you better, and more accurate, results.
Courtesy of The University of West Florida Libraries
Too Many Results?
1. Filter out non-scholarly articles. If you are required to find peer-reviewed articles, look for the "Peer-Reviewed" box located in most databases to quickly weed-out most non-scholarly works. This will also remove newspapers, dissertations, blogs, and governmental or business reports.
2. Select "Full-Text" whenever you can. This will narrow results automatically to articles you can read right away, avoiding unnecessary delays for Interlibrary Loan.
3. Limit your results by most recent articles only. Most databases have either a limit or sort feature, enabling you to push more recent--and therefore more authoritative--results to the top.
4. Narrow your topic by adding more keywords for a particular time, place, demographic, or perspective. If your topic is "Farmer's Markets", you may try to include other keywords like Rural, Southwest, Economic Aspects, Women.
Too Few Results?
1. Cast a broader net with your search terms. Choose more general terms, remove specific locations.
2. Use a thesaurus to find synonyms for keywords.
3. Try different databases. We have a variety of resources--be diverse in your searching.
4. Contact your librarian. We are happy to help you explore alternative search strategies and locations to help you find resources.
Most databases allow you to narrow your search results according to certain criteria.
Some common limiters (also called filters) include:
Limiters vary by database. Please check the database's Help page, for specific information.