Plan a strategy before you commence searching.
Develop a robust search strategy to help reduce irrelevant results.
As your searching progresses you will refine your search.
5 steps for searching effectively
1. Create a focused, clearly defined topic (and sub topics if necessary)
2. Identify key words and phrases within your topic/s
3. Think of alternative terms including synonyms and spelling differences
4. For more complex searches you can link all the terms using operators such as ANDs & ORs (these are used mostly in database searching)
5. Run the search in UQ Library search, or an appropriate database and evaluate the results.
Too many results - limit your search by adding more keywords linked by AND
Use more specific keywords, or search specific fields (e.g. keywords in title)
Limit your search by year, article type, peer-reviewed, language etc.
Too few relevant results - include more alternative keywords linked by OR
Look at the subject terms for a relevant item and the links to similar resources
Use quotation marks to keep terms together as a phrase: “natural language processing”
Use the asterisk symbol to truncate a word to retrieve all possible terms: network* = network, networks, networking
Add another term/s to make your search more specific: "data visualization" platforms AND "interactive data exploration"
Add synonyms to ensure you find all relevant results: "data visualization" platforms AND ("interactive data exploration" OR IDE)
OR use the asterisk symbol:
data visuali* platforms AND ("interactive data exploration" OR IDE)
NB Use parentheses around search terms so the terms are searched for in a logical way (similar to solving a maths problem).
Contact your Librarian and make a time to meet, and discuss searching for resources for your research project.
For help with planning your search you can consult the Library guides or speak to your Librarian.