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Communication and Information Technologies: Searching

Search Tools



                                   Accessing Library Resources Outside the Campus

What is Search Strategy

A search strategy is an organised structure of key terms used to search a database. The search strategy combines the key concepts of your search question in order to retrieve accurate results.

Search Tips

Databases are provided on different interfaces. Most of them support the following functions:

  • Advanced Search screen provides options for combining your keywords.
  • Combine keywords using appropriate Boolean Operators (drop down menu):
    • AND - to combine/narrow down; OR - to broaden; NOT - to exclude terms.
  • Use synonyms, alternative terms, phrases and variations in spelling.
  • Use truncation at the end of your term (*) to find variations of your search term
  • If you want words to appear next to each other in an exact phrase, use quotation marks (" ")
  • You can specify how close two words appear together in your search strategy. This can make your results more relevant; generally the closer two words appear to each other, the closer the relationship is between them. Commands for adjacency searching differ among databases, so make sure you consult database guides.
  • Use citation searching to find articles that have been cited by other publications. You can use cited reference searching in:
  • Refine results by subjects, controlled vocabulary, publication year ...
  • Select/Mark relevant references and display results.
  • SaveE-mail or Export selected references.