Ask yourself three questions:
Brainstorm keywords to use in your search. Pick words that represent each key aspect of your topic (see below for an example).
This process can be challenging. The same idea can be expressed in many ways. To ensure the best results when searching, brainstorm several keywords whenever possible.
List keywords that relate each concept in your research (use a thesaurus, course readings, or lecture notes for ideas).
Keyword searching is essentially taking your best guess at the terms which will appear in articles that are about your topic. This can be a very effective way of searching. However, you may get a number of irrelevant results because the keywords you chose may appear in irrelevant articles. You also never know if you've found all the article on your topic.
Tip: The next time you're using a library catalogue/database or looking at a book or article, take note of the author defined keywords or keywords and subject headings used then try using those terms in your next search.
Boolean logic is the fancy language databases use to search. Boolean operators connect your keywords together.
The three basic boolean operators are: AND, OR, and NOT.
University of Toronto Scarborough Library
1265 Military Trail, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4 Canada
About web accessibility. Tell us about a web accessibility problem.
About online privacy and data collection.
© University of Toronto. All rights reserved.