Search Basics

Anaylze Your Topic

Test the concepts/keywords 
  • Too many – narrow by adding more related words
  • Too few – broaden your topic
    Synonyms, acronyms, spelling and other variations
  • Too new – broaden your topic
  • Look for similar concepts in other fields

Ways to Get Better Results

Here are some suggestions to help you have a more effect search strategy:

  • Use precise terminology and be as specific as possible
  • Put the important words first
  • Try to avoid terms that have multiple meanings – need to disambiguate between common terms
    • Sparrow [bird vs. missile]
    • Apple [company vs. fruit]
    • Sound [noise vs. body of water]
    • Typhoon [weather vs. aircraft vs. submarine]
  • Use the advanced feature of the database or search engine
  • Limit to a specific timeframe
  • Limit to specific field
    • Author
    • Title
    • Summary or abstract
  • Limit by format/genre/type
    • Book
    • Ebook
    • Article
    • Audio