What Are the Best Search Strategies for Databases?

Here are a few search strategies that will help you find the information you need more quickly and efficiently.

Kelli Harris
By Kelli Harris
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published May 24, 2022.

Databases can be a great resource for research, but finding what you need can be difficult if you don't know where to start. Here are a few search strategies that will help you find the information you need quicker and more efficiently.

Best Search Strategies for Databases

1. Boolean Searching

Boolean searching is used to find documents that contain specific words or phrases. This type of searching is often done using AND (meaning both words need to appear) or OR (one word or the other).

Example: “(‘tree’ AND ‘bush’) OR ‘shrub’”

2. Wildcard Searching

Wildcards are symbols that represent any character and can be used to replace characters in a string. For example, if you want to look for documents containing the word “papaya” but don't know how many times the letter 'a' appears in the word, you could use the wildcard symbol (*), which would allow you to enter any number of "a's" into your search.

3. Phrase Searching

Most systems allow you to search for phrases, allowing you to make sure that your search results focus on your topic.

When searching for two words together, place quotation marks around the phrase. For example, "gardening techniques."

Other search systems, however, may require the use of a connector word, such as:

  1. gardening w techniques
  2. gardening ADJ techniques

How to Improve Search Strategies

One definite way to improve your search strategies is to implement an intranet search engine. A well-functioning intranet search engine can save employees a lot of time and hassle.

Enterprise search engine features can index all of your company's content like documents, websites, emails, and videos. Intranet search engines also allow employees to search for content by keyword or file type.

The benefits of intranet search engines include the following:

  • Helping employees find information quickly and easily
  • Can be customized to meet the specific needs of your company
  • Helping to organize and store information in a central location