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Prof. Seid; Principles of Teaching Health Care - SPRING 2020: Search Strategy

Develop a Search Strategy

Search Strategies: using keywords, truncation, and synonyms:

Relevant keywords are necessary for effective research. You can start by taking keywords from your research question.

Your search should always include the word "STUDY"

There are other ways to develop additional keywords.

1. Use synonyms and related concepts: Ex. Alzheimer's OR dementia     Diet OR nutrition

Think of other words that mean the same or similar things as the words in your question. It can help to brainstorm before you begin your search.

Look at the subject terms in your search results and see if you can use any of those.

2. Use truncation: the computer will locate alternative endings for a word when you place an asterisk -- the * symbol -- at end of the root of a word.

For example, typing child* will yield results for:

            child     children     childhood     childbirth

            nutrit*     nutrition     nutritional   

When searching, try different combinations of keywords. For example:

  • child* AND food insecurity
  • child obesity AND health risks
  • nutrition AND pregnancy  (or nutrit* AND pregnancy)
  • skin cancer AND diet

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