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Tutt Library Research Guides


Biology: Research Help

Biology Subject Page

Keyword Searching

Use the Search Generator from Northwest Missouri State University to help you create a keyword search. 

                        Using AND/OR/NOT (Boolean Search Operators)


Use AND to focus search and combine different aspects of your topic.

Example: vegetarianism and environment


Use OR to expand your search and find synonyms/related terms.

Example: global warming or climate change


Use NOT to exclude a word or phrase from your search

Example: emissions trading not United States


Additional Search Tips

"Phrase search"  - Use quotation marks (" ") to search for a particular phrase.

Example: "greenhouse gas emissions"

Truncation * - Use an asterisk to find variations of a word. Put an asterisk following the root of the word to find all variations of that word, including singular and plural.

Example: environment* (finds environments, environmental, environmentalist, etc.

(Grouping/Nesting Keywords) - Use parentheses ( ) as a way to group all your search terms together.

Example: (climate change or global warming) and population growth

Search Strategies

Goal How To Example
find a phrase Place quotation marks around a group of words "secondary education"
broaden a
Use an asterisk (*) at theend of a word to search for variations of a word at one time
educat* searches for educate, educating, education, etc.
search for
AND searches for items that contain both keywords educat* AND teach* retrieves documents that have both words
OR searches for items that have at least one of the keywords educat* OR teach* pulls items with either word
stop a keyword
from showing
up in results
NOT excludes items with a specific keyword educat* NOT secondary means that any items with the word Europe will not show up in the search results
look for words near one another
use "near" in between keywords educat* near secondary 
Tutt Library, Colorado College      Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: