Use 2 or 3 significant words or terms from your research topic
Develop synonyms and alternative terms
Try a broader concept if a specific term doesn't retrieve enough results
Try a more specific aspect or element if you get too many results with a very broad concept
Use the connector "and" to retrieve records with all the keywords you list to focus and narrow your results
Use the connector "or" indicate that any one of the terms listed needs to be in the results shown; this usually increases the number of relevant results
Use quotation marks to indicate a phrase
Use an asterisk * to pick up words with the same stem but different endings
Look for new words or terms to search when reviewing your results or reading the full-text article.
Make connections through ideas and concepts rather than specific words
Look at the reference list at the end of a relevant scholarly article you found. This may lead you to earlier articles related to your topic. Search the UNH Library catalog by the name of the journal to see if we have the article online or in print.
Check "Times CIted" links, if available, in databases such as PsycINFO to identify some newer articles citing the article in the database record. This may lead to related relevant articles.
Searching by the subjects assigned to articles helps
Look at the subject terms in records for articles that fit your topic closely and search those subjects for more articles
Use the thesaurus available in some databases to see if your keywords are subjects or if alternative terms are used
What else have the author(s) published on this topic? Search their names in the relevant database or look online for their CV (curriculum vitae) or list of publications.
Records in many library databases include fields containing specific pieces of information describing the article, book, chapter, etc. Common fields include:
Using one or more of fields in your search will produce more precise results than keyword searching will. For example, when looking for books by Sigmund Freud rather than books about him, it's more efficient to use the author field.
Look for drop down boxes or menus to select the fields you want to search (Example)