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Tarleton State University Libraries Unit 4
GETTING HELP WITH SEARCHES
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image of call for help   In addition to the guidelines in this unit, help with searches is available through additional means:
•  print search help,
•  online search help,
•  and librarian assistance (face-to-face, telephone, and online).
 

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PRINT SEARCH TOOLS -- WHERE TO FIND HELP
Introductory or preface material in a print search tool offers instructions for using the tool along with appropriate diagrams, examples, abbreviations, and so on.

Consulting this part of a search tool (or other reference tool) before trying to use it will save time, reduce frustration, and make searches more fruitful.


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ONLINE SEARCH TOOLS -- WHERE TO FIND HELP
Don't assume that online search tools are all the same. Some tools let you use boolean operators (and, or, not), but others do not. Some tools require quotation marks for phrase searches; others require apostrophes. The differences are numerous.

However, online search tools are similar in that they offer online searching tips and help screens, which explain ways to refine searches, show what symbols to use to represent various boolean operators and phrase indicators (e.g. and, +, not, -, etc.), and give other tips for using the tool effectively.

The search tools also offer similar search functions and are designed according to common usage. Therefore, an understanding of the processes used to define and refine searches, along with the online search tips should enable you to successfully use online search tools.


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RESEARCH ASSISTANCE -- ASK A LIBRARIAN
If you need assistance with your research efforts, do not hesitate to ask Tarleton librarians for help. They are available in a variety of ways to help with your research efforts:
•  Face-to-face assistance during library hours
-- Check library hours for availability.
•  Telephone assistance
-- Check library hours for availability.
-- Call the Stephenville campus library (254) 968-9249.
-- Call the Killeen campus library (254) 526-1244.
•  Online assistance
-- Submit an online Ask a Librarian form.
-- Email the reference librarians. (See Staff Directory for addresses.)
 
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Updated 5/2005