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Social Work

Social work

Mechanics of Searching

Use Boolean Operators to combine your search terms to find relevant information

  • and
  • or
  • not

Many of our databases including Social Work Abstracts do not require using the Boolean operators to search. These databases automatically default to "anding" all of the search terms entered. Other databases may still require using Boolean operators and you may want to try searching both with and without to see if your results change.



Mechanics of Searching

Use truncation symbols to account for plurals in spelling.

Truncation will search for all possible word endings to save time while searching.


will also search for






Truncation video

Brainstorming Keywords

Brainstorm synonyms for your search terms

Enter each search term separately

Combine synonyms with OR

Combine search concepts with AND


program* and assessment                                program* and assessment or evaluation* or outcome*

program* and evaluation*

program* and outcome*



Evaluating Information

Evaluating Resources: The C.R.A.P. Test

Currency: Is it current enough for your topic?

Reliability: Fact or Opinion? Accuracy? Sources Identified?

Authority: Author/Creator - affiliation, reputation, publisher?

Purpose/Point of View: Bias? Background information? Other views acknowledged?


C.R.A.P. test (adapted from Orenic, Kenneth. "The CRAP Test." Paper presented at Loex2008Collaborate. April 28, 2008.)