The databases operate a little differently than Google. Here are some tips to get better results quickly and spend less time searching.
1. Don't use full sentences! Break your search into key words
2. AND-- When you AND search words, you get less hits/results, but they are more accurate.
Ex. sharecropping AND south AND economics Ex. airlines AND economics
3. OR -- When you OR search words, you get more hits/results, but they may be less accurate. I OR synonyms.
Ex. statistics OR demographics Ex. alcohol OR liquor OR booze
4. "quotation marks" -- When you use quotation marks, you get less hits/results, but they are more accurate.
You must have 2 or more words to use quotations. It should be a common phrase.
Ex. "united states" Ex. "women's rights"
5. * -- When you use *, you get more hits/results, but they may be less accurate. * searches for all forms of a word at once.
Ex. econo* = economic, economics, economies, economy, economical, etc.
Ex. financ* = finance, finances, financial, etc. whereas finance* = finance, finances
6. NOT --When you NOT words, you get less hits/results, but they are more accurate. I NOT a term that I want to weed out of a result list.
Ex. (economics AND slavery) NOT "united states" Ex. alcohol NOT prohibition
7. Mix and Match-- You can mix and match these tips
Ex. (statistic* OR demographic*) AND sharecropping AND "united states"
Ex. economic* AND "farm tenanc*"