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There are 6 central concepts that are important to grasp in order build an effective KEYWORD search strategy in any article oriented database OR library catalog:
#1: If you have a MULTI WORD PHRASE you need to treat it differently- treat it like a mathematical expression, and put it inside a set of PARENTHESES: For example:Military Industrial Complex===>(Military Industrial Complex)
#2: Meaningful use of synonyms- do not search for just one word, to cover your core concept. Try to include synonyms & unique phrases that are closely allied with yourprinicpalarea of focus. Separate each of the synonyms with the OR command: For example:Child abuse===>(Child abuse)OR(Abused children)OR(Sexual abuse)OR(Sexually abused) OR(Physical abuse)OR(Physically abused)OR (Emotional abuse)OR(Emotionally abused)
#3: Using WILDCARDS for variety of words that have similar starting point of spelling- do not search for just one word, if there are an entire family of words that all have the same base word. The ASTERISK "*" is the wildcard to use for most article oriented databases. For example:Econom*will automatically pull in: EconometricOREconometricallyOREconomicOREconomicallyOREconomizeOREconomizing
#4: If you are trying to focus on a specific Geography, you really need to search for both the Name of the country / city / region, as well as searching for the People of that county / city / region, and sometimes adding in the name of their language. For example, if you want to only focus on your topic inHolland, thenyou should formulate that component as==>(HollandOR NetherlandsOR Dutch)
#5: If you have a HYPHENATED WORD you need to search for it both WITH and WITHOUT the hyphen:: For example:Multi-National Corporations===>(mutli-national corporations) OR(mutlinational corporations)
#6: Understanding the searching options of that particular database-- if your database has the capability of specifying a unique field to search, try looking for your topic under the SUBJECT umbrella. For example:an ordinary searchas contrasted against a subject only search
For some research topics, the difference in the number of articles retrieved between these two simple options could be a ratio of 4 to 1!