Searching Strategies

Developing a Search Strategy

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When you’re using library resources, you’ll need to know a few things before you actually start searching. First and most importantly, you’ll need a list of good keywords. You’ll also need: 

  • a plan for using search connectors, 
  • knowledge of a few punctuation tricks to take your searching to the next level, and
  • a place to start your search (we won’t go in depth about this in this module, but you can view the catalog or databases modules or try Research Guides by Subject to find the resources our subject librarians recommend for each area)

Keywords combined with search connectors and punctuation tricks form your search string. Taking that string and applying it in a catalog or database is what makes that string into a strategy. Your search string may evolve or you may come up with an entirely new one during the research process, but you have to start the process with at least a basic search string before you can start refining your search strategy.

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