Identifying search terms

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Identifying the best search terms will ensure your literature search is effective in finding useful and relevant information

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Identifying search terms

  1. 1. Identifying search terms RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/
  2. 2. Your search In order to find the most relevant and useful information for your research you need to think carefully about the terms you use to search. RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/
  3. 3. Your search • Have a clear idea of your topic • Make sure your research question is focussed • Think about how broad your search needs to be: • Are you just looking for some background information? • Are you doing a detailed literature review? RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/
  4. 4. Identify key concepts Example 1 Does hand washing among healthcare workers reduce hospital acquired infections? RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/
  5. 5. Identify key concepts Example 1 Does hand washing among healthcare workers reduce hospital acquired infections? The key concepts would be: • Hand washing • Healthcare workers • Hospital acquired infections RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/
  6. 6. Identify key concepts Example 2 Human rights and the long term detention of asylum seekers RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/
  7. 7. Identify key concepts Example 2 Human rights and the long term detention of asylum seekers The key concepts would be: • Asylum seekers • Detention • Human rights RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/
  8. 8. Identify search terms RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/ For each concept of your research question: • Think of possible synonyms, related terms, abbreviations or acronyms • Look at any articles that you know are relevant to the topic: • What language do they use to describe their research? • Do they give their search strategy? If so, what terms did they use? • If the article is indexed in a database, what are the indexing terms used?
  9. 9. Identify search terms Example 1 – some possible terms Does hand washing among healthcare workers reduce hospital acquired infections? RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/ Hand washing Healthcare workers Hospital acquired infections Hand disinfection Health personnel Cross infection Hand sanitisation Doctors Clostridium difficile Surgical scrubbing Nurses C. diffiicle Allied health professionals Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA
  10. 10. Identify search terms Example 2 – some possible terms Human rights and the long term detention of asylum seekers RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/ Asylum seekers Detention Human rights Immigration Imprisonment Civil rights Refugees Detainment Civil liberties Migrants Custody
  11. 11. Summary RDF InformationLiteracy http://www.library.qmul.ac.uk/ • Think carefully about your research question • Break your question down into components • Identify keywords for each component • Start searching!

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