Do You Know What All Those Search Options Do?

When using a search option at an online database, do you know how that site implements wildcard searches, Soundex searches, and other search options? Getting creative with search terms is often necessary, but if you don’t know how they are really working, you are not being effective. Experiment and look at your results and see if you are getting what you think you should. A Soundex search for the last name Smut on a site with English language last names should result in a large number of hits. And if you don’t know why, then review what Soundex really is.