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A Guide to Research



Keywords are...

  • A good way to start a search.
  • The important concepts in your own words.
  • Found anywhere in the article (title, author, subject terms, etc.).
  • Very flexible. (For example: domestic violence or domestic abuse or intimate partner violence)

Try Boolean Operators...

  • "Or" broadens your search results.  (College OR University OR School OR Higher Education)
  • "And" narrows your search results. (Vaping AND Cancer AND High School Students)
  • "Not" narrows your search results. (Elections NOT Presidential) (Social media NOT Facebook)
  • "Not" can be used to weed out biased words or phrases associated with your topic. (immigrants NOT illegal aliens)
  • Combine operators for more complex searching. (Ethics AND Cloning OR Reproductive Techniques)

Limit to Peer-Reviewed, Refereed or Scholarly articles...

  • This is part of the publication & editorial process for academic and research journals.  Being peer-reviewed is a sign that a paper's author(s) have done a certain level of due diligence in their work and their research is complete, manages conflicts-of-interest, and is fair and objective.

Narrow the Date Range...

  • When looking for health-related information, it's a good idea to limit to the last 3-5 years.