Thursday, April 17, 2008

Truncation, Wildcards, Limits and Stop Words

This is a way to extend your search for a word. For example: eat* will search for eating, eatery, eater, eats, etc. Not all databases use truncated searches. Some may not accept a truncated search. In most cases a * is used for truncation. Occasionally you might come across a database that uses some other symbol (such as ?) for truncation.

Ex: Using Ind* in Google searches for Indianapolis, International, Industries, India, etc. Of course in Google you have about 103,000,000 for Ind*in 0.22 seconds.

Wildcard search is used to find words with various spellings: colo?r will search color and colour, wom?n will search for woman and women. This is very helpful when you are not sure if the article was written in British English or American English.

Note: Wildcard and Truncation symbols may be interchanged by some databases. Find out what symbols are used for what under Help.

Users can also limit their searches by date, language, format, full-text or just abstract, etc. Most databases have a drop down menu of Limit options available.

This varies from database to database. Most common stop words are a, an, and, by, for, from, of, to, the, with, etc. Check their Help section to find out which are stop words for the given database.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ph.D in Library Science

For anyone interested in doing their Ph.D in Library Science off-campus, San Jose State University is offereing a Gateway Ph.D Program in partnership with Queen's Univeristy of Technology. It looks like there are some on-site components to this program but most of it can be done as distance education. If you are ready to commit to six years, this is a program for you.