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Human Movement

Databases, journals, ebooks, and referencing for human movement studies

Finding journal articles

Journals articles can be found using a variety of tools.

Journal articles can be from academic or scholarly, magazine, newspaper or trade publications.

  You should be using academic (also known as scholarly) journal articles. Look for:

  • references within the article
  • reference lists or bibliographies
  • often will have abstract, methods, discussion or conclusion

Many academic articles are also peer reviewed.

Develop a search strategy

  • Identify the MAIN IDEAS in your question
  • Identify the KEYWORDS for these concepts any similar terms/synonyms that might be used to describe your key terms
  • COMBINE your concepts with Boolean Operators (AND / OR / NOT)

Identify keywords

Brainstorm synonyms for your keywords. For example:

Discuss the use of compression garments when exercising does it improve performance? 

‚ÄčThe key concepts are:

  • compression garments
  • exercising
  • performance

Example of a simple search

Synonyms/keyword Synonyms/keyword Synonyms/keyword

"compression garments"


"compression garment"


"compression sleeve"


"compression sleeves"







Use advanced search

Use the Advanced Search option in your chosen databases.

Put each concept in a different box (with OR between each synonym).

Consider limiting your search to Title/Abstract fields.

Put AND between each row.

Boolean operators

  • AND - between keywords will search for both terms and retrieve fewer results but with greater relevance
  • OR - between keywords of similar meaning (synonyms) will search for either or both terms and broaden your results  
  • NOT - narrows search and identifies references that do not contain the term following it

For step by step instructions go to UQ library - Searching in databases


Learn how to conduct advanced literature searching with our online tutorials.

Search tips

  • Field searching to refine the search. For example, search Title and Abstract fields only
  • Set search limits. For example, year or language
  • Controlled vocabulary. Use MeSH or subject headings. PubMed uses MeSH, Cinahl  uses Subject Headings, and Embase uses Emtree
  • Phrase searching. Use double quotation marks around phrases: "compression sleeve"
  • Truncation/wildcards. These are special characters such as asterisk (*). For example, exercise* finds exercise and exercises