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Research in a nutshell - NNPS: Keywords

Using Keywords

Thanks to our friends at Kimbel Library at Coastal Carolina University for creating this great video on selecting the right number of keywords to use in a search!

Developing Searches

For this assignment, you need to use keywords to look for articles on specific topics.  This is good practice--you can use your time most efficiently by creating good searches to enter into databases.  Most databases work best ify ou enter keywords, rather than entire sentences or questions, into the database.  

Try our new Search Strategy Builder for an even easier way to build keyword searches!  

For example, if your research question was:

Is melatonin treatment effective for children with insomnia?

Then you might create a search that looks something like this:

"melatonin treatment" AND children AND insomnia

If you don't find anything with that search, then you may want to think of adding some synonyms to your search:

"melatonin treatment" AND (children OR youth OR baby) AND (insomnia OR sleep OR sleep disorders)

Read more about developing search strategies here:  http://info-skills.lib.vt.edu/developing_search/index.html

Search strategy builder

Search strategy builder

The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into the standard database search boxes.

Write out your research question or topic thesis as a sentence.

  Concept 1 and Concept 2 and Concept 3
Extract the major concepts from your sentence above and enter them here.    

List alternatives for each concept.

These can be synonyms, or they can be specific examples of the concept.

Use single words or short phrases.

Find additional terms in abstracts and summaries of the articles, books, and other sources you find during initial searches.

Search terms Search terms Search terms

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Search Strategy Builder created by University of Arizona Libraries and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.