Skip to Main Content

LPL 850: Legal Research: Finding Articles

Overview of Search Strategies

Use these search strategies when searching for Education-related articles in databases such as Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, Education Full-Text, etc.

  • Choose the Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Journal checkbox in each database before you press search.
  • Limit your search to full text only if you’re interested in finding articles that are immediately available.
  • The use of Boolean Operators is an effective search strategy. Using the words AND or NOT will limit your search results, providing you with fewer hits. Using the word OR will expand your search and provide a greater number of results.

    To see how this works, visit The Boolean Machine.

  • Truncation allows you to search for a root form of a word and pick up any ending.

    • Educat* will retrieve education, educated, educator, educators, educational, and educationally. Most databases use * for truncation. Check the 'Help' feature in each database to learn more.

Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators help to narrow or broaden your search. The most useful Boolean operators to connect your searches are AND, OR, NOT.


Boolean Search (And, Or, and Not)


AND finds records containing both terms. This narrows the search. For example:

  • teachers AND students
  • female AND male

OR finds records containing either one or both terms. This broadens the search. It can also be used to account for variant spellings. For example:

  • students OR learners
  • education OR pedagogy

NOT finds records containing the first term, but not the second term. This narrows the search. For example:

  • students NOT elementary
  • males NOT adolescent

You can use more than one Boolean operator in the same search.

  • technology AND elementary NOT iPad


Some of this information is from


Truncation allows you to search various word endings simultaneously.

To use the truncation symbol enter the root of a word a and place the symbol at the end of the word.

Example 1child* will retrieve childchildschildrenchildrens, childhood

Example 2comput* will retrieve computer and computing

Refine & Limit Your Search

When searching in databases, refine your search depending on your research need. When you do this, you will get fewer results but they will be more closely related to your topic.

In this example in the Education Research Complete database, I have refined my search results to show only articles that have been peer reviewed and published in the last 5 years.

View this page in a format suitable for printers and screen-readers or mobile devices. 915 South Jackson Street • Montgomery, Alabama 36101 • (334) 604-9093