Skip to Main Content

如何找資源Libguides: Beginner's Guide


 1—Specific or General Query

Querying specific information:

You can search the name of a book, journal article, or the author designated by your instructor in the Library Search System.

Querying general topics:

Use key words for a general search on relevant resources.

 2—How to Query Information and Obtain the Full-Text

Note: Be sure to specify the information or topic beforehand.

Identify the type of materials: Journal articles, books, newspapers, etc.

Select a search tool: The Library or Union Catalog, a database, etc.

Conduct a search, filter the results to narrow down the scope and get the full text. (Appendix 1 and 2)

 3—Introduction to the Library Collection

The primary purpose is to meet the teaching and research needs of faculty and students on books, journals, multimedia materials, electronic resources, and more. Unavailable research sources can be borrowed or copied from other institutions through the interlibrary loan service.

Advanced Methods

To familiarize yourself with various books, journals, dissertations, electronic resources, and newspapers.

To improve your research ability with the Course and Resources webpage.

Appendix 1—Basic Query Concepts: Keywords

Appendix 1—Basic Query Concepts: Keywords (Keyword)

The most common search strategy is using keywords or terms to find similar data in specific fields. The choice of keywords determines the quality of results. To obtain satisfactory outcomes, you can use the following principles:

(1) Specific terms that cover your main subject

The keywords you select should accurately convey and clearly define the central concepts of the research topic. Choose specific terms with clear meanings, such as "dog"  "cat", rather than general or common terms like “animals".

(2) Short phrases

For retrieval in a database system, the probability of finding an exact match decreases with long phrases or word combinations. For instance, refrain from “diseases that frequently occur in dogs and cats" but query with “dog" “cat" or “diseases in dogs and cats" instead.

(3) Technical and general terms

Subject-specific databases necessitates replacing general terms with technical terms. For instance, querying with the term “agriculture” in AGRICOLA the agricultural database will yield a significant number of results.

Appendix 2 -- Basic concepts that facilitates efficient data retrieval

Appendix 2 -- Basic concepts that facilitates efficient data retrieval

(1) Boolean Logic: For multiple terms, Boolean algebras “and,” “or,” and “not” narrows down or expand the search scope with keyword combination.

I.“AND” narrows the search scope to indicate the intersection of 2 sets.

With “A and B” as the keyword, only results that contain both A and B will be obtained. For instance, for literature on “reproductive isolation in drosophila melanogaster,” the query must contain both the keywords as in “Drosophila melanogaster AND reproductive isolation”.


II.“OR” expands the search scope to indicate the union of 2 sets.

With “A or B” as the keyword for multiple terms of the same concept, any data that includes either A or B will be retrieved. For instance, other terms for “genetically modified corn” may be “GM corn,” or “transgenic corn”, which can be combined with “OR” as in “genetically modified corn OR GM corn OR transgenic corn” in the query.

III. “NOT” excludes irrelevant scope for any term after “NOT”.

With “A not B” as the keyword, any instances of A and B as well as those with only B will be excluded to include only those with A. For instance, for academic books on “social media” with overwhelming results on “how to get rich using social media”, use “social media NOT rich” instead. Note that the “NOT” command should be used with caution to avoid excluding relevant query.

(2) Truncated: Due to English inflectional morphemes, finding all relevant information can be challenging unless inputs have all word forms. Truncation refers to adding a wildcard symbol (commonly “*” or “?”) for a full search, thereby avoiding omissions.

For instance, “Librar?” can retrieve results on “Library,” “Libraries,” “Librarian,” and “Librarians.” Most databases offer this function, but symbols may vary (see instructions or user manual).

(3) Limiting fields and exact matching: Restricting search conditions to specific fields helps narrow the scope and reduces irrelevant retrieval, thereby improving precision.

For instance, limiting keywords to title/abstract or narrowing down publication year range can ensure results match your needs better. Entering multi-word phrases “social marketing” may retrieve irrelevant documents with “social” and “marketing”) appearing separately. In such cases, enclosing the term with quotation marks (“social marketing”) will guarantee an exact match. This method is suitable for multi-word phrases, particularly proper nouns that should not be separated in the search process.

(Source: NTU Library Reference Service Blog