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Digital Babytalk

Telling computers what you want

Despite great advances in computer technology, computers still depend on human input. Computers can think faster, but they can't think with as much complexity as humans.

In order to get electronic databases to divulge their secrets, you have to know how to speak to them. Think of it as digital baby talk.

You have to tell a computer if you want all the words of your search to appear in the results. You might also need to let the computer know which terms you don't want to appear in your results.

The following sections go into detail on how to speak to a database to get the best results for your information needs.

Search Types

Basic search types Search operators
Natural language
Subject Heading
Browsing thesaurus or index
Proximity operators

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