Brandel Library

EXS 3010: Biomechanics (Cobb)

Database Search Tips

Knowing how to put your search together will save you time and make your search as efficient as possible. Searching the Library databases is different than searching Google or other search engines. Build your search using the following techniques:

Keywords/Search Terms

  • Keywords (also called search terms) are words that describe or relate to your research topic. You determine what you think are the best keywords.

  • Choosing the best keywords can be difficult. The easiest way to identify effective keywords is to brainstorm main points of your topic and then synonyms for those main points.
  • When you search in a database, you can choose to look through specific fields—title, author, and abstract etc.—to locate articles that mention your search term.

Research topic

Potential keywords

Adverse effects of obesity on anesthetized patients

anesthesia, obesity, overweight, surgery, complications (or any variation/synonym of these words)

Combining Your Keywords: Boolean Operators

OPERATOR WHAT IT DOES EXAMPLES

AND

   
   
   
Placing AND between two keywords requires that any results you find contain BOTH keywords. The AND is used to narrow your search. Use it to connect two ideas that both need to be in the results you find.

exercise
AND
adolescents


obesity
AND
sugar

OR OR lets you search for either keyword at the same time. Use it when you have multiple keywords that are synonyms.

nutrition
OR
diet

 

NOT NOT excludes specific keywords. Be careful when using NOT: removing a keyword from your search results may eliminate useful comparison articles. exercise NOT weight training