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Lund University

Library Guide for Students at Advanced Level

A help to find, evaluate and structure information needed in a Bachelor or Master Thesis in Physics and Astronomy, and other advanced courses in the subjects. It also consist of how to write, cite and publish.

How to search in LUBsearch

Search Process

The search process can be summarized in the following six steps:

1. Define the subject/question/problem
2. Create a search query by finding relevant terms, synonyms etc
3. Choose search tool(s)
4. Search
5. Evaluate the search result
6. Re-search

Truncation and Phrase Search

Word stem search (= truncation)

Use the asterisk * to search for words with the same beginning.

Example: instead of migrating OR migration OR migrated… write migrat*, and you will search for all the variable endings of the word.

Phrase search

Example: ”phenotypic plasticity”

The quotation signs indicates two things:

1. You are searching for the two words together as a concept, not separately

2. You are searching for the words exactly as you have spelled them, all "extra help" is excluded (for example variant spellings and plural/singular)

Many search tools have a useful "Help section", and don't hesitate to ask the librarian for further help!

Boolean Operators

To build a proper search query you need to combine the search words correctly. To do this you should use the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT:

- All search terms should be included in the hits

- Limits the search result, i.e. reduces the number of search hits

- Space between words equals AND

- At least one (either - or) of the terms should be found in the search hits
- Use for synonyms or other alternative words
- Broadens the search, i.e. results in more hits


- The term should NOT be found in the hits

- Restricts the search result, i.e. less hits

- You may, by mistake, exclude hits of potential interest

Use CAPITALS when you write the Boolean operators. Some databases accept lower case letters, but not all. In Google you have to use capitals.