Search Strategies

  • Develop a search statement to search databases (including news databases), Omni, and other academic sources
  • A search statement includes a list of keywords, combined using Boolean Operators (AND; OR; NOT)
    • AND - this will combine concepts, all of which must be found in your list of results
      • fax AND history
    • OR - either this concept or that concept (or both). This is helpful for generating a list of synonyms. Use synonyms to anticipate the different ways different authors may refer to the same idea. A thesaurus can be helpful for this
      • history OR development OR invention
    • NOT - do not include this concept
      • fax NOT internet
    • Quote marks - find a specific phrase
      • "information technology"
    • Truncation - any other combination of letters to follow
      • develop* - will find develop, developer, developing, development, etc.
      • canad* - will find canada, canadian, etc.
    • Combine one or more of these operators
    • Put a list of synonyms in brackets
  • For example, my topic is to investigate the history of the fax machine. My search statement might look something like this:
    • fax AND (history OR develop* OR invent*)

Reference Material


  • For Historical Newspapers:
  • For Contemporary Newspapers:
    • Canadian Newsstream
    • Factiva (international)
      • Search
      • Source
        • drop-down
          • By Type
            • expand Newspapers:All
            • select region
      • Ensure you adjust the date range

Magazines and Trade Publications

Academic Sources

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