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Composing a Search: Introduction

Interactive guide to demonstrate how to compose a search and test it on a sample of library databases.


Figure with magnifying glass

Creating a good search which returns all the relevant results requires some planning.

If not done properly you will either

  • waste a lot of precious time
  • miss relevant results

This guide sets out a four step process to develop efficient searches.

  • Select key terms
  • Identify synonyms and related terms
  • Add punctuation for phrases and truncations
  • Combine terms with Boolean logic

On the Try it tab you will be able to test your ability to create an efficient search.

You don't want to wind up like this guy.