There are three basic search strategies that can be used when trying to locate information:
Only records with BOTH search terms will be retrieved
The AND operator is the most commonly used operator
Used to search synonymous terms or related concepts
This search will retrieve records where EITHER of the search terms is present, resulting in a larger number of hits
Used to exclude a term or concept from your search
The NOT operator is the least-used operator
Different search tools (e.g., catalogs, databases, web) have different searching rules and features. You should always read directions and help screens before using a tool that is new to you.
In a lot of search tools, including SUMMON and many databases, there are options for refining your search built into the results screens. Once you conduct your initial search, you can narrow down the results by subject, discipline, publication date, source type/content type, language, and other features.