- Use the guide the database provides.
- In most databases you can choose between searching for single words and phrases. When you search for a phrase you search for more words in a set order. (Remember that all words count.) When you search for single words you should not include articles and the like.
- Do not use Scandinavian letters in international databases. Æ=ae, a, e | ø=oe, o | å=a, aa.
- When you search in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English databases, type in queries in the language of the database.
Too many results - narrow your search
- Use a more specific subject term.
- Combine two or more keywords, or use Boolean operators: AND/OR/NOT (see below).
- Limit the results by language; country; document type; year etc.
- Try another database.
Too few results - expand your search
- Check your keywords – find synonyms.
- Look for subject terms in relevant results.
- Remove limitations.
- Use truncation. This is also called stemming or root expansion, and you use a symbol to represent the various endings at the root of a keyword.
- Example: If you search for theat* you will get theatre, theater, theatres, theatrical etc.
- In most databases you can truncate by using the asterisk *, but the symbol may vary. Truncation can be used in all fields but year.
- In some databases it is also possible to use truncation in the beginning of the word, or mask one or more letters of the word or phrase.
- If you get no results:
- Check the spelling (use ordnett.no).
- Try different subject terms.
- Try another database.
You can combine keywords by using the Boolean operators AND/OR/NOT.
AND between the keywords means that all the keywords must be present in the results. For instance ‘blueberries’ AND ‘strawberries’ will only return results that contain both of these.
OR between the keywords means that one of the keywords must be present in the results. For instance ‘blueberries’ OR ‘strawberries’ will return results that contain one of these or both.
NOT between the keywords means that one of the keywords, and not the other, must be present in the results. For instance ‘blueberries’ NOT ‘strawberries’ will return results that contain ‘blueberries’, but exclude the ones containing ‘strawberries’ too.
Some databases offer an alphabetical list of all searchable subject terms in the database.
You can read more about searching at Søk & Skriv.