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Information Literacy Archaeology: Answers

Question 1 + answer

Which of these search methods is best when you are using literature references to find other relevant publications about your subject?

1. Snowball method

2. Keywords

3. Pearl-growing method

4. Search operators AND,  OR and NOT


1. the snowball method: this is the most frequently used method for finding relevant publications.

Question 2 + answer

You can use search operators to broaden or limit your search.

Examples of these are shown below.

Which combination results in the most specific search?

1. Rats AND Mice

2. Rats OR Mice

3. Rats NOT Mice


1. Rats AND Mice: this means you are searching for publications that have both these words in the description or text of the publication. This will produce the most specific results.

You can see how this works below.


Question 3 + answer

How can you define your subject precisely?

1. by searching with the operator OR

2. by searching with wildcards/truncation

3. by specifying a period in years

4. by using a synonym


3. by specifying a period in years. All the other answers refer to actions that would do the opposite, i.e. broaden your subject.

Question 4 + answer

How can you combine different search terms to form a phrase/concept?

1. by using the operator AND

2. by using the operator OR

3. by placing the words between brackets

4. by using truncation or wildcards


The two correct answers are 1 (use AND) and 3 (use “.....”).

In some cases, the other option is to put the words in a single search box.

The options will depend on the database you are using, so it's a good idea to check using the Help function.