BIO150Y Optimal Information Foraging  

Troubleshooting Tips

Too Many Results?

Too much
  1. Did you combine with OR rather than AND? Remember to combine similar terms with OR (e.g. biological invaders OR animal introduction) and different terms with AND (e.g. biological invaders AND great lakes)

  2. Is there a more specific term or phrase you can use?
    e.g. zebra mussels instead of biological invaders

  3. Is there another word or phrase you can add? The more words you AND together, the more focused your results.
    e.g. biological invaders AND great lakes AND impact

  4. Can you limit your search by publication year or language?

  5. Can you limit your search by document type?
    e.g. "peer review" in General Science Abstracts or "article" in Web of Science

Too Few Results?

Too few
  1. Did you combine all your words with AND? Remember to combine similar terms with OR
    e.g. biological invaders OR animal introduction

  2. Use a wildcard (*) to retrieve different word endings (plural vs. singular, Canadian vs. American spelling).
    e.g. biological inva* to find biological invaders, biological invaders, biological invasion, etc.

  3. Consider using more broad terms.
    e.g. freshwater or aquatic resources instead of great lakes

  4. Use latin names in addition to common names for organisms
    e.g. zebra mussels or Dreissena polymorpha

  5. Remove limits such as publication year.

  6. Try another index. Consult My Biology Library for more indexes.

  7. Look for references cited in the articles you find

Let's find the article... Next

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