Searching Techniques

The most common way to find information on a topic is keyword searching. However there are other search techniques such as bibliography mining, cited reference searching and searching by methodology that may be less familiar. Doing an effective keyword search and also using these other techniques will allow you to know you have thoroughly searched all of the literature related to your topic.

Keyword Searching

The Library databases use a technique called keyword searching to find articles related to your topic. The following are the basic steps in conducting a keyword search:

  • Breakdown your research question into keywords and start a list of synonyms or alternative terms.
  • Choose the databases for your search.
  • Conduct your search by using search techniques such as field searching, truncation, using controlled vocabulary, sorting by relevance and removing the full text limiter.

Click the Keyword Searching tutorial on the right for more detailed information.

Bibliographic Mining and Cited Reference Searching

Bibliographic Mining and Cited Reference Searching are search techniques which allow you to trace the history of an idea captured in an article, backwards and forwards from its publication date. This helps you find more articles on your topic, including seminal articles.

To learn more about these techniques click the Bibliographic Mining & Cited Reference Searching tutorial on the right.

Searching by Methodology

Finding articles and dissertations that use the methodology you want to use in your research can help you:

  • Understand how to use the methodology
  • Provide justification for using the particular methodology

Additional Methodology Resources:

Click the Searching by Methodology tutorial on the right for more detailed information.

Keyword Searching. Techniques and tips to plan and conduct your search for articles and books in the Library databases. Bibliographic Mining and Reference Searching. Find additional articles and books from articles you already have and trace the history of an idea backward and forward in time. Techniques to find qualitative, quantitative and mixed method studies.