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AVM 4501 - Air Transportation Management: Search Tips

This guide has been developed to help students research and write a report on an airline that has gone bankrupt or been merged with another.

Ulrich's Web

Use this link to find out if the journal you are using is peer-reviewed. Look for the referee shirt symbol to appear before the title of the journal you are searching.

Tips for Searching Bankrupt Airlines

Composing a search:

Spelling variations: When searching for an airline in a database or catalog, think of all the different ways that its name may have been spelled by different people over the years that will be reflected in article and book titles.  Then try all the variations if necessary to find enough material for your paper.  

Examples: AirTran, Air Tran; Pan Am, Pan American; Eastern Air Lines, Eastern Airlines, Eastern Airline; TWA, Trans World Airways, Transworld Airlines; Braniff International, Braniff Inc.; Transcaribbean, Trans Caribbean, Trans Carribbean (common misspelling); etc.

Truncation: Most databases recognize the asterisk (*) as a truncation symbol.  Try searching Air* to capture Airways and Airlines and Airline. See the Library Catalog box below for an exception and the Truncation box for more information.

Phrase searching: Many databases use double quotes to make words search as a phrase:  "Pan American Air*."

Boolean searching:  Another possibility is to do a Boolean search using the operators "or" and "and" with parentheses to simultaneously search (airtran or air tran); american and (airline* or airway*); "american airlines" and bankrupt*.  See the Boolean box below.

Vocabulary: In addition to the name of the airline, you will need to try terms such as bankrupt*, history, perhaps merger* or reorganization as keywords.  If the database has a thesaurus, you may find it helpful to discover its preferred subject terms and use them in subject fields rather than as keywords.

Recommended materials for writing your paper:

Ideally a book if one is available in the library catalog or by searching WorldCat and allowing 7-10 days to receive it through Interlibrary Loan. 

Company history and statistics from the Reference tab's databases or from reference books and government websites such as FAA or the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Articles, especially scholarly ones, from the Articles & Databases tab in addition to newspaper and trade publication articles.  You may have to search many databases for the less well-known airlines. 

Websites that you've evaluated for authoritativeness including Avweb sites.

Happy writing...



Catalog Search Tips

To Search the Catalog:

  1. Click the Catalog tab on the library's website and enter the word or words you want to find.
  2. Choose a field from the drop-down menu. All FIelds looks in all indexed fields within a record.  All other choices (Title, Journal Title, Author, Subject, Call Number, ISBN/ISSN, Series) target specified fields within a record.
  3. Click Find.

Additional search tips:

  • Most words in the catalog’s records are indexed and therefore searchable.
  • Boolean operators AND, +, OR, NOT, and may be used to narrow or expand searches.
  • Use truncation/wildcard symbols to replace any number of characters (*) or a single character (?).
  • The most precise search is a Subject search using a term from the Library of Congress Subject Headings.
  • Click on links (subjects, authors, and more) in the catalog record to continue searching.
  • Search results may be cited, e-mailed, texted or exported into RefWorks.
  • Click Advanced Search to limit results by call number (LCSH or SuDocs), publication year, language, and format.

Truncation/Use of Wild Card in Most Databases

    • Truncation is a search strategy that expands a search by retrieving variant forms of a root word.

Example: cat* retrieves cat, cats, cattle, catalog, Catanese, catnap, catnip, catastrophe, etc.

    • Wildcards often replace one or more characters within a word.

Example: wom*n retrieves woman or women

  • Frequently used truncation or wildcard symbols are the asterisk (*), the question mark (?), and the dollar sign ($), depending on the database.
  • Autostemming is automatic truncation and is used in some LINK databases.

Boolean Operaters/Nesting

Boolean searching, available in most search engines, allows you to retrieve a list of documents related to specific terms or concepts. Common Boolean operators are AND, OR, and NOT.

AND

Documents found must contain all words joined by the AND operator. The search below will return results that contain the terms beach and erosion.

Search: beach AND erosion

OR

When terms are grouped by the OR operator, all documents found must contain at least one of those terms. The search below will return results that contain either or both the terms replenishment or restoration.

Search: replenishment OR restoration

 

NOT

Documents found using this operator cannot contain the word that follows NOT (or AND NOT or BUT NOT). The searches below will return results that contain the term damage but not the term legal.

Search: damage NOT legal

Search: damage AND NOT legal

( )

Parentheses (or other punctuation) are used to group concepts together in order to formulate more complex search statements or queries. This is called nesting.

The search below finds results that contain the word beach and either the word erosion or the word damage.

Search: beach AND (erosion OR damage)

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