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boolean operators:

Boolean operators are connector words like AND, OR & NOT which are used to combine your search terms into a search string.


collaborative leadership:

collaborative leadership and team resiliency


controlled vocabulary:

A controlled vocabulary is a standardized set of words or phrases used in some databases to help with document retrieval.  The intent is to apply the same term to all the articles or books which cover the same topic. Search tools with controlled vocabularies usually call them 'subject headings'.



What is a database? In the context of library research, a database is an online repository of journal citations that may also include the full text of the article.  The RRU Library subscribes to over 100 electronic databases.



Descriptors are words or phrases linked to article and book descriptions to aid in document retrieval.  It is a form of controlled vocabulary.



Databases that contain only the citations and abstracts for the articles (no full text) are called "index databases."



Nesting is a search technique used to enhance keyword searching by allowing you to group synonyms within parentheses / round brackets.


primary source:

A primary source is an original source that documents an event in time, a person or an idea. (e.g. photographs, artifacts, research articles with original data)


search string:

 A search string is a combination of words that you put into a search engine or other search tool.  Some examples:

change and management

("global warming" or "climate change") and evidence


search tool:

A search tool can be an article database, a search engine (like Google), the Library's main search tool (Discovery), or any other tool used to find resources.


secondary source:

Secondary sources build upon primary resources by analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing or discussing them. (e.g. books)


subject heading:

A subject heading is a standardized set of words or phrases used in search tools such as databases and catalogues to aid in document retrieval.  It is a form of controlled vocabulary.


tertiary source:

Tertiary sources provide overviews of topics, digesting other primary and secondary sources into summaries of information. (e.g. encyclopaedias)



Truncation is when a symbol is used to find plurals and alternate spellings of root words (e.g.) auto* = autos, automobiles



Wildcards are symbols that are used within a word to help find words with multiple spellings (e.g.) t*res = tires or tyres