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Create a Research Statement
This can be in the form of a question or a sentence. Think about what you want to search and write it down in one or two sentences.
Identify the Keywords
Look at your research statement. What are the main words or concepts? They will likely be nouns and can include phrases. Highlight them.
Think of Synonyms
Look at the words/phrases you highlighted and think of synonyms or other phrases to describe those concepts. Scholarly articles often use words we don't use in ordinary life. You can consult a dictionary or a thesaurus for this purpose.
Search the Databases
Combine your keywords using the boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and the database's truncation or wildcard symbols.
Example Search Strategy
The topic used in this keyword search strategy is not health related - it illustrates process. Truncation & wildcards are not used.
SEH Librarian Cathy creates a search strategy using: keywords & phrases, truncation, boolean operators, grouping concepts, applying a date range, and more..... ums, ahs, and mistakes are bonus!