Skip to Main Content

Professional Communication for EMS: Effective Searching

Library presentation Session 1: Effective Searching

Boolean Operators AND / OR / NOT

AND – returns results with both keywords. AND usually limits the search results
OR – returns results with one or the other keyword.It broadens your results by connecting two or more synonyms.


Use the Boolean Machine for visualizing the effects of Boolean operators .

More tips:

Quotation Marks “ ” – keep keywords together, for exact phrase searching
Brackets ( ) – keep concepts together, used for synonyms

("green energy" OR "sustainable energy" OR "renewable energy") AND (logistics OR "supply chain" OR "value chain")

What is an academic/peer-reviewed article?

Peer-reviewed or academic articles are articles written by academics/experts/researchers on a specific field of study. These articles usually contain a bibliography at the end of the article and information on the author’s academic qualifications and university at the beginning of the article. A peer-reviewed journal article was reviewed by people with credentials in the article's field of study before being accepted for publication.

Accessing Journals

Identifying keywords

Databases contains articles with information that will guide you to the answers you seek. Instead of searching with questions on databases, you have to search for information using KEYWORDS.

When extracting KEYWORDS from your assignment or essay, you need to look at the key concepts that encapsulate your assignment.

Is it true that economic growth makes the rich richer and the poor poorer?


  • Economic growth
  • Inequality OR income inequality

Note: The concepts that you are looking for are not always expressed in the
language of the assignment or question, but often through other related terms.

See the Guide for step-by-step instructions.

Indentify keywords and Synonyms

Topic :
Discuss the impact of white collar crime on tourism.

Keyword 1
with Synonyms/related terms

Keyword 2 withSynonyms/related terms

White collar crime


Organizational crime


Corporate crime


Finding Books


Library E-Books guide

A guide on finding and using e-books in Stellenbosch University Library.