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Search and Find - Information Searcher's Journey

Use of Keywords

Keywords and Search Words

Search words or keywords are single words ("communication") or multiple words i.e. phrases ("social media"). You will always need keywords when you search for information. Keywords can be ordinary words that describe your subject, or specific keywords ("Subject headings", "index terms") from a controlled vocabulary or a thesaurus. Not all keywords related to your topic may be found in the controlled vocabularies but on the other hand, you may find words in the controlled vocabularies that you would not have otherwise thought of.



Truncation and Quotation Marks

Since databases do not understand the meaning or content of search terms, it is worth taking into account the different spellings, conjunctions and inflections of different words when searching. While Google can even guess synonyms, scientific databases can not. They also do not correct or suggest correcting misspellings, so it is worth being careful with the spelling of words.


Truncation Mark

With the truncation mark, all inflected forms of a word, endings of compound words and other derivatives are included in the search. The word is truncated at the point where it starts to inflect. The truncation mark is usually an asterisk, *

work* > work, workers, workplace, workshop, workbook, working life...


Quotation Marks

If you want to search for the words in the exact order, use quotation marks around the words.

  • Phrases and terms that contain multiple words
    • "social media"
    • "internal communication"
  • Publication names and full article titles (also works on google!)
    • "Journal of International Studies"
    • "WhatsApp and Its Potential to Develop Communication Skills among University Students"