Davis Library Research Guides for Rio students.
Generally: Use the wildcard and truncation symbols to create searches where there are unknown characters, multiple spellings or various endings. Neither the wildcard nor the truncation symbol can be used as the first character in a search term.
The wildcard is represented by a question mark ? or a pound sign #.
To use the ? wildcard, enter your search terms and replace each unknown character with a ?. The database finds all citations of that word with the ? replaced by a letter.
For example, type ne?t to find all citations containing neat, nest or next. The database does not find net because the wildcard replaces a single character.
Note: When searching for a title that ends in a question mark, the symbol should be removed from the search in order to ensure results will be returned.
To use the # wildcard, enter your search terms, adding the # in places where an alternate spelling may contain an extra character. The database finds all citations of the word that appear with or without the extra character.
For example, type colo#r to find all citations containing color or colour.
Note: Searching the U.S. spelling of words will also include some spelling variations (i.e. colour or odour) but not all spelling variations.
When using the pound/hash (#) wildcard, plurals and possessives of that term are not searched. For example, when running a search for the term colo#r, the terms "colors" and "colours" will not be searched (which they are by default when using the singular "color" or "colour" without a wildcard operator).
Truncation is represented by an asterisk (*). To use truncation, enter the root of a search term and replace the ending with an *.The database finds all forms of that word.
For example, type comput* to find the words computer or computing.
Note: The Truncation symbol (*) may also be used between words to match any word.
For example, a midsummer * dream will return results that contain the exact phrase, a midsummer night’s dream.
Google searches broadly across all of the Internet, including commercial sites, while Google Scholar searches primarily academic content--scholarly articles, book chapters, books, etc..
Do not pay for access to articles you find in Google Scholar! Rio and OhioLINK will have the sources that you need.
AND - Limits the Search
Strawberry AND Vanilla AND Chocolate
OR - Expands the Search
Strawberry OR Vanilla OR Chocolate
NOT - Limits the Search
(Strawberry OR Vanilla) NOT Chocolate
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Rio tuition allows for access to reputable OhioLINK databases that contain credible information: Scholarly Articles.
Rio Professors and future employers expect you to use and know about professional sources available through OhioLINK.
Avoid wasting time sorting through advertisements and misinformation that lurks on the web through a free Googler or Yahoo search.
A journal that has been refereed has been reviewed by an editorial board of experts in a field before being accepted for publication. It contains a list of references or bibliography of other notable sources.
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Wikipedia is a popular free online encyclopedia that is written collaboratively through contributions from its readers. While it may be a useful tool to to help familiarize you with certain topics, Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source to cite when doing academic research. Investigations at the college-level require that you consult the scholarly community and respect established standards set by your field of study.
Below is a video tutorial created for Cooperative Library Instruction Project (CLIP) --a partnership between Chemeketa Community College, Lane Community College, Oregon State University, Western Oregon University, and Willamette University whose mission was to design and develop sharable, web-based tutorials to assist in library instruction and information literacy--that offers some suggestions on how to use Wikipedia in early stages of the academic research process.