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Search Strategies: Home

Welcome to Search Strategies

Research begins with an idea which must be put into words. 

Those words are your key to locating relevant information to your topic.  You may be lucky to hit on the "right" words and find a wealth of information.  Sometimes, it doesn't happen that way.  Creating a search strategy is essential for successful search results. Even if you are not familiar with the topic, knowing the right resources and search strategies can result in success. 

Troubleshooting your Search Strategy Slides

Search Strategy Overview

  1. Create a search statement using keywords.
  2. Use keywords and controlled language.binocular image
  3. Use the Database Search features and tools.
  4. Truncation and Wildcards can expand your results.
  5. Use Boolean searching. binocular image
  6. Change approaches as necessary - gathering information is not a linear process. binocular imageContinue to identify applicable keywords and controlled vocabulary to go back and check in the selected database(s) and other resources.

Refine and Repeat

As searches are performed and familiarity with the topic and databases increase, new keywords will become available.  These words will be in titles, subject terms, abstracts, and within relevant articles. It is important to capture and use these words.  The search process is not linear, so as these words appear, the research process needs to be revised taking these new words into account.  This may also affect the original reseach topic/statement. Depending on results (too many or not enough), the search strategy may change. 

Remember, the library staff are available to help you through the search process!

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