How to search

How to search

Take time to think about what types of information resources you will need for your assignment. For some assignments you will need your notes from lectures, plus key text books from your reading lists and journal articles you have found on the topic. For others you will need more detailed information such as statistics or standards or even primary data such as survey data or results of experiments. Let's consider how you can select keywords for your search. There are three main steps:

Step one: Divide your search up into key concepts

Most searches will involve several elements which will need to be considered separately. For example, the use of computers by elderly people has two - computers and elderly people.

Step two: Search for keyword variations
  • Synonyms - for example automobile or car
  • American or alternative spelling - for example colour or color
  • Abbreviations - for example ATMBSI
  • Truncation or wildcards - for example comput? for computers or computing,
    organi?ation 
    for organization or organisation
Step three: Put it all together 
AND + to narrow a search - gets fewer results
AND + to narrow a search - gets fewer results
OR  to broaden a search - gets more results
OR to broaden a search - gets more results
NOT ~ to eliminate unwanted words
NOT ~ to eliminate unwanted words


Creative Commons Licence

SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Marion Kelt Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.