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CSTS 221: The Ancient Novel (HC): Advanced Searching

Classical Studies 221: The Ancient Novel (Germany) Fall 2014

Advanced Searching Tips

Advanced Searching in Tripod


1.)  Keywords allow you to construct a search that reflects multiple issues in your research question.  Building sets of related concepts and looking for their overlaps gives you more relevant and precise results.  This approach is also called Boolean searching.

Related concepts   (magic* OR charm* OR occult*)      

                                    Tips: Enclose each concept in parentheses

                                               Capitalize the ORs

                                                *  ( Truncate)   Searches root words with all the different endings; politic* = politics, politician, political, etc.

                                                “  “  Enclose phrases in quotation marks, e.g.  “love magic”  to get the words together in that order


Overlaps   (magic* OR charm* OR occult*) (greece OR greek OR roman OR rome OR latin) (woman* OR women* OR female* OR gender* OR sex*)          

                                      Tips: Add the other related concept groups

                                              Tripod automatically supplies the AND between parentheses so that you see only titles that have at                                                                         least 1 keyword from each of the 3 groups



Results  (magic* OR charm* OR occult*) (greece OR greek OR roman OR rome OR latin) (woman* OR women* OR female* OR gender* OR sex*) = 336 titles in Tripod

                                    Results display automatically in relevancy order with the records having the highest number of keywords appearing first

                                    Sorting for the newest books first shows recent scholarship


2.) Subject Headings allow you to find relevant material grouped together including titles that do not use the keywords you may have been searching.


Finding subject headings

                                    Look at a book record in Tripod, check the subjects assigned to it, and choose whatever ones are relevant for your research.

Example:  Seeing Tongues, Hearing Scripts: Orality and Representation in the Ancient Novel.    By Victoria Rimell.  Groningen University Library, 2007.


                                    Classical fiction  history and criticism
                                    Orality in literature
                                    Written communication
                                    Greece civilization 
                                    Rome civilization
                                    Subject search   classical fiction history and criticsm  =  103 results


Refining subject searches

                                   You can combine different concepts into a single subject search for precision.  The results are more focused than a keyword search.

                                    But all the words have to be terminology used in library subject cataloging.

                                    To ensure this, you can use subject headings you have already found or browse in the subject headings for more choices.                   

                                    Combination subject search:

      ("classical fiction" OR "latin fiction" OR "greek fiction") (sex* OR gender* OR women OR masculin* OR female* OR woman)=  9 results


3.) Other Databases 

Other databases covering journal articles and primary sources also rely on advanced searching with AND and OR.  Année philologique works best if you build synonyms together in one box, e.g. (eros OR love) and leave the connectors between search boxes as ANDs.

When search Année philologique for a classical text or writer, use the Ancient Authors and Texts Tab on the database toolbar to verify the form of name used in the database. In this way you will find all the articles about an author or text no matter what form of the name is used in the titles or abstracts.