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Physics and Astronomy: Using Search Strategies in Databases

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Database Orientation Programme: Using Databases for Research

Database Orientation Programme image

Activity: Learn about literature searching

Learn about Literature Searching by completing the activity

Select this link (open the scene in a large window) to learn about Literature Searching  

This ThingLink scene is built with consideration for accessibility.
Select each number in the box or use the accessible version link or this link to open the interactive tutorial.
Start with the question mark icon and then use each tool in order (1, 2, 3, 4). Take the quiz (5) and complete the feedback form (6) when you have finished.

Literature Search Tool Box image Link to Literature Search Tool Box activity

Common Tools to Use in a Subject Database

This short tutorial introduces you to  the basic tools you will use in a subject database. 

 Select this link to use the accessible view of the tutorial

Interactive Database Tools Guide

Select the number next to each tool and use the immersive reader tool to hear a description of the tool.

Select the full screen [ ] option to fully view the screen.

Database Tools Image

Use a Search Strategy

Use three basic steps to building and using a search strategy after you have identified your research statement:

1. Identify terms   (Keywords,  Synonyms,   Phrases)  *** Not all databases will use the same terms, and that is why you should search for each term before combining them with Boolean Operators.

2. Apply  Truncation and Wildcards, Boolean Operators, Proximity Operators. Check the database guide to see if they are available in that particular database.

3. Adjust Results 

Add criteria such as time-frame, geographic location, etc. by using the database's filters.

Too few articles?  Add more terms or use alternative concepts

Too many articles?  Remove some terms Use more precise search terms

 When you are done, save your search strategy in the database

Check your knowledge

Quiz: Do you know all the ways to build a search strategy? 

This is an interactive quiz in which you accumulate points. Test yourself on building search strategies in any subject database. (You will save yourself time by having a strategy when you are looking for resources for your research)