Even an abbreviated literature review needs to:
There is no one search that will find all the relevant information for your literature review. You will need to try different combinations of search terms to understand the different components of your research topic.
It helps to identify the broader and narrower terms associated with your topic. Potential sources include: course materials, encyclopedias, handbooks, and books but there also tools that can help you.
Thesaurus searching (or controlled term searching) uses a built-in list of subject terms terms that are assigned no matter what keywords the author uses. It enables consistency and it is a powerful way to search.
*Not every database uses thesaurus searching*
To override the default search, use Boolean operators and direct the database to find the combination of information that best matches your search query:
structural health monitoring = all records with the words structural and health and monitoring
“structural health monitoring” = all records with the phrase structural health monitoring
“structural health monitoring” AND (sensor* OR sensing) = all records with the phrase structural health monitoring and at least one of the words sensor* or sensing
You can use truncation and wildcards to find the variant endings and spellings of your search terms.
Use the truncation symbol (*) to replace an unlimited number of characters.
Use the wildcard (?) to replace exactly one character. gr?y = gray, grey
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