This screenshot was taken in the ERIC advanced search page. Using this advanced search, we can easily break up our search into different ideas.
Boolean Operators: We can use OR to keep synonyms together and use the default AND (pull down on right) to combine concepts.
Phrase searching: We placed “group counsel*” and “support group” in quotations marks. This tells the database we want to see articles with these words together as a phrase, only.
Truncation: We put an asterisk * after teen*. This truncation symbol tells the database to return articles with teen or teens or teenagers or any other word that might begin with teen (i.e., teeny). We used truncation for group counsel* to retrieve group counselors, group counseling, etc.
Select a Field: Finally, on the left you’ll see a pull down box. We usually leave this alone and the database will search for the terms in the title, author, abstract, and descriptors. You can use this pull down box to broaden your search (i.e, TX – your search terms can be from the entire text of an article) or narrow (i.e., TI- your terms will only be in the title).
The same strategies can be done in PsycINFO. PsycINFO has some advanced refinements you can use to narrow your results after you've conducted a search.