If you search a catalog or database and receive a large number of results, add a limit or additional keyword in order to retrieve a manageable and relevant number of results to review. At the same time overly narrow search terms can return too few results. One way of solving both problems is to use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), which allow you to limit or expand searches depending on your needs.
For example, a search for urban AND mexico will return items that contain both "urban" and "mexico":
Rural OR country returns items that contain either "rural" or "country" or both:
violence NOT drug returns items that contain "violence" but not "drug":
An important strategy to use when searching for phrases ("lucha libre") or titles:
For example, "mexico profundo" will search for Mexico AND profundo in that order, finding the book by Guillermo Bonfil Batalla
When pairing two or more keywords with another keyword, it is important to "nest" the former terms within a larger Boolean search.
For example, (urban OR city) AND mexico will return results for Mexico and any one (or both) of the parenthetical terms.
(Many catalogs and databases will have an "advanced search" option, which provides multiple search boxes to facilitate nested searching.)
Truncation and Wildcards:
Most catalogs and databases enable users to search variations of keywords by using truncation (*) or wildcard (e.g., ?, $, !) symbols.
For example, one could search for politic* to find poltic, politics, political, politicking, and so on.
Wildcard searches are for differences within words: a search for wom?n will return results for woman, women, and womyn.