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NELC: Citation Best Practices: Research Tips

Collecting "keywords" or search terms

Searches are put together with individual terms and concepts. As you read keep a running list of terms that seem central to the topic your are going to be writing about.

Some terms will be specific to a particular discipline

"Care" might mean one thing in anthropology and another in health sciences

In that case you might want to have a few few different words that get at the concept (care OR nurtur* OR tend*) for instance

You can "truncate" your search terms to extend the term

nurtur* can be (nurture OR nurturer OR nurturers OR nurturing OR nurtured)

Use quotation marks to create phrases "food habits"  "baladi bread" "casual care"

Creating Search Statements

Most databases provide "advanced" search options, which allow you to create search statements.

Search statements are formed with connecting words:


you might create a whole statement with in a single entry or box:

islam* AND (foodways OR "food habits" or cuisine) AND famil*

Screenshot image of search result example from Articles+

You might have a series of boxes.

Within each box you can combine your synonyms

Box 1: foodways OR "food habits"

Box 2: islam*

Box 3: famil*

screenshot depicting ebscohost search illustration


Suggested databases

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