Answered By: Gannett-Tripp Library
Last Updated: May 31, 2017     Views: 11

If you're having trouble finding what you want in the library's databases, try using one or more of these basic search strategies.

Broadening a search

  • Try a keyword search - in many databases, this is the default search.
  • Search for up to three words that describe the topic.  Using fewer words will give you more results.

Focusing or narrowing a search

  • Add more keywords.
  • Search for subject headings instead of keywords.  Look at the full database record for several items and see which headings are the most useful for your topic, then do another search using those headings.
  • Limit by date or material type.
  • Limit to full-text or peer-reviewed articles.

Brainstorming for synonyms

  • Use a thesaurus or synonym-finder website to find words that are related to your topic or that describe it in another way.  Then use these words in new searches.