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Keyword Searching

A guide to how to do keyword searching.

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What is Keyword Searching?

Library databases are not answer machines. You cannot type your research question into a library search engine and get a bunch of articles that answer it. That is not how databases work.

Instead, you need to think like a computer. Whatever you type into the search box, the database is going to match it.

You need to think strategically about your research question and what words might appear in articles that would be useful to you. This is where keyword searching comes in.

To learn more about keyword searching, use this guide by following the tabs at the top of the page. This guide covers:

  • Identifying keywords
  • Using alternative keywords
  • Combining keywords
  • Advanced search techniques