Use the Boston Public Library's specialized and general databases to access full-text articles, bibliographic citations, and more, on community gardening and gardening-related topics. Useful tools usually offered by Databases include the ability to highlight and take notes; save documents to a personal folder; print, e-mail, or download documents; and generate citations.
Database Search Tips:
- When performing a basic search, select the Index (Keyword, Subject, Publication, Entire Document) that best suits your needs.
- When you complete your search, use limiting options such as full-text, document type, publication dates, and more to narrow the results.
- Check to see if there is an abstract. You should be able to gauge quickly from reading the abstract whether the article will be useful to you.
- Consider the length of the article. A very short article will probably not have the depth your require.
- Consider using Advanced Search if you would like to easily incorporate Boolean operators in your search string, take advantage of a range of additional indexes, have the ability to limit your results to peer-reviewed journals, and more.
The Internet is a rich resource for community gardeners. Use Google Search to find information on community gardening, organic gardening, growing vegetables and fruits, and more. Google has a complex search algorithm that is very effective at returning relevant result from simple keyword searches. You can, however, use search strategies to help refine the results that Google returns.
Google Search Tips:
- Phrase Search: Enclose terms that use more than one word in quotations marks so that results only include pages that use that exact phrase.
Example: "cold frames"
- Limit by Domain or Site: You can limit your search to particular sites or domains such as .edu (educational), .gov (government), .org(organization) if you want information from a particular site, or a particular type of agency or institution.
Example: community gardening site:org
Example: raised beds site:gardening.cce.cornell.edu
- Boolean Operators: You can use Boolean operators AND and OR with parentheses to search for two possible keywords and combine them with the main search word.
Example: community AND (gardens OR gardening)
- Negative Boolean Operator: If you are searching for something that has more than one meaning, you can use a negative operator to exclude results you do not want.
Example: hotbeds -lacrosse
- File Type Operator: Many instruction manuals, research documents, etc. have been published online in PDF format. You can use a filetype search to quickly locate them.
Example: growing fruit filetype:pdf
- Google Advanced Search: Use Google Advanced Search to easily incorporate Boolean logic; limit by language, site or domain; and more.