We're going to look at the Articles+ native interface and not the QuickSearch version of Articles+ in this online demo. You can reach the Articles+ interface directly here or visit library.yale.edu and click Articles+ under the Research heading.
First, let's use a real-world problem — finding information on the Ogo Oil Field in Nigeria, discovered in 2013.
What do we know?
In Articles+, we have a few features we can use — see the sidebar on the right, which describes Boolean operators — to construct this search: "ogo" AND "oil field" nigeria
At the time of this screenshot, Articles+ displayed 76 results.
First, 76 results is a lot — and it looks like there are many matches for content types like books. We're going to use the Publication Date section to limit our search to 2012 and onward. (2012 isn't a typo; I typically go back a year when searching in date limits just to see what it does to the results.)
This limits us to 31 results, broken down into 7 books or eBooks, 1 book chapter, 6 journal articles, 1 magazine article, 10 newspaper articles, and 9 reports. If you browse through other facets, such as subjects terms or disciplines, you'll see that there's still a bit of noise in the results — some of these articles are discussing the environmental impacts of oil & gas in the region, not necessarily statistics we need. (The 2009 title in the image may have inaccurate metadata — no database or search engine will ever be perfect.)
You can also view the results directly here. To me, GlobalData Company Deals and Alliances Profiles looks like it may have what I need. If I get the full text of the pieces from 2013-2016, I can browse through them to find relevant information. Oil and Energy Trends may also contain valuable information. The GlobalData reports, which I won't screenshot here out of copyright concerns, include key facts and detail summaries on purchases and acquisitions in oil and gas.
For more information, we'll have to leave Articles+ — please check the Reports, Articles, & Industry Research tab for a full list of places where you can search.
Boolean searching allows you to customize how you search for things in academic databases, and it's based on a few key pieces of syntax: AND, OR, NOT, (), and "".
When you put two terms into an academic database, AND is usually implied: You usually want both words in fluid inclusions to appear in your search results. You could just as easily write:
fluid AND inclusions
But let's say that I want to find something about extrasolar planets. However, there was a terminology change around 2007, after which people started using the term exoplanets. If I want articles from both eras, I can do the following:
exoplanets OR "extrasolar planets"
What this tells my database is that I don't care which term appears in the results. I just want one of them. In addition, I want extrasolar planets to be searched as a phrase. (This also works in Google with song lyrics.)
What if I'm looking for women in STEM (science, engineering, mathematics, and technology) fields, though? Try it. You'll see a lot of resources on stem cells. This is where the NOT operator is helpful:
women stem NOT cell NOT "clinical trial" NOT "stem cells"
Of course, Google and Google Scholar work differently. Instead of NOT, use a - to make it look like this:
women stem -cell -"clinical trial" -"stem cells"
Or, of course, we could do this with everything (and here parentheses signify order of operations):
women AND ("stem" OR science) NOT cell NOT "stem cells"