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Recap

Keyword searching includes the following steps and skills:

  • identify key concepts of your research topic

  • identify key words and phrases that describe each concept; use phrases appropriately

  • list synonyms for the keywords and phrases

  • combine your terms with
    and
    • combines distinct concepts
    • narrows your search
    • gets fewer, more relevant results
    or
    • combines synonyms or related terms
    • broadens your search
    • gets a greater number of relevant results
    not
    • excludes unwanted concepts
    • narrows your search
    • gets fewer, more relevant results
  • use brackets to nest your combined terms to ensure the correct search order
  • truncate using wildcards to retrieve variations of your search terms
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