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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.


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Creating a good search which returns all the relevant results requires some planning.Figure with magnifying glass

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.






 Except for logos, Canva designs or where otherwise indicated, content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.