Planning a query

Planning a query

A good query can be defined as one that retrieves all the relevant records and excludes all records that are not relevant to your needs.

If your initial search produces too many hits, try narrowing your search by:

– using a more specific word or phrase, eg lantana rather than weeds

– using Boolean and “&” to combine search terms eg weed control & wheat

– using Boolean not “!” to exclude information you do not want, eg crops ! canola

If your initial search produces too few matches, try broadening your search by:

– searching for alternatives using Boolean or “/” eg bovine / cows / beef / dairy / cattle etc

– using truncation to search for word stems eg gene* finds gene, genetic, genetics

– using broader terms as well as specific terms eg climate change / drought / el nino

– checking the spelling and use alternative words