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LS220 Research Methods: Search Strategies

Miss T.'s PowerPoint Presentation

Search Strategies

1.  To find actual scientific research studies on any topic, add the keyword "method" and add an asterisk at the end of it.  Like this:

handedness method*

  • The keyword "method" is a uniquely integral part of every scientific research article.  Therefore, using it as part of your search query will help to eliminate the articles that are not scientific studies. 
  • The asterisk will command the search engine to look for the root word "method" and every variation thereafter, i.e. method, methods, methodologies, methodology.
  • A keyword search is the most profitable type of search for finding articles as most articles do not have associated subject headings.  Simply typing in search terms without any field commands will cause the search engine to default to the keyword field.  

2.  Use these additional keyword terms and phrases as appropriate: human mechanics, cognitive performance, stress, affectbrain function.  For example:

handedness method* affect*

caffeine method* "brain function"‚Äč

3.  Limit the results list to Peer Reviewed

From the column on the left of the Results List, find the Content section and check "Peer Reviewed".  This will reduce the results list to only those articles that have been reviewed and approved by other scholars in the field and are therefore, considered the most scholarly of articles.  These will be the best research articles available to you.

4.  Further limit your results by date and language.  Again from the options in the left column, scroll down to Year and further down to Language.


5.  If you choose you may further focus your search by using these field commands.  

su: to search the Subject Field  --Most periodical articles do not have subject headings in their records, so this may not be helpful
ti: to search the Title Field
au: to search the Author Field
kw: to search Keywords in the whole record (author, title subject, table of contents, summary, abstract, etc.)  This is the default search.
nu: to search a Call Number



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Janet "Miss T." Tillman
Robert L. Powell Library
The Master's University
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