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Developing Search Strategies. Jill Crawley-Low, Veterinary Medicine Library, University of Saskatchewan . Developing Strategies for Searching Electronic Resources. clearly define the question & concepts consider the vocabulary organize the terms construct the search statement

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Developing search strategies l.jpg

Developing Search Strategies

Jill Crawley-Low,

Veterinary Medicine Library,

University of Saskatchewan


Developing strategies for searching electronic resources l.jpg
Developing Strategies for Searching Electronic Resources

  • clearly define the question & concepts

  • consider the vocabulary

  • organize the terms

  • construct the search statement

  • decide which databases to search

  • execute the search


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Clearly Define the Question

  • example of a precisely worded question:

    • “are there articles on mycorrhizal symbioses in vascular plants written in the last 5 years?”


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Identify the Main Concepts in Your Question

  • “are there articles on mycorrhizal symbioses in vascular plants written in the last 5 years?”

  • mycorrhizal symbioses

  • mycorrhizas

  • vascular plants

  • 2000+


  • Consider the vocabulary l.jpg
    Consider the Vocabulary

    • forms of keywords – mycorrhiza, mycorrhizal, mycorrhizas

    • synonyms – mycoflora, fungal flora

    • truncation

      • ? replaces one character

      • * replaces more than one character


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    Organize the Terms

    • free-text or index searching

    • Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT)

    • Parentheses


    Boolean operators l.jpg
    Boolean Operators

    • most search engines don’t allow natural language - use keywords or key phrases and combine them with Boolean operators

      • and retrieves records containing both terms (narrows a search)

      • or retrieves records containing either term (broadens a search)


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    Parentheses

    • allow you to control the order in which keywords or key phrases are searched

    • all search statements containing “and” plus “or” in the same sentence must use parentheses to control search order


    Free text or index searching l.jpg
    Free Text or Index Searching

    • enter keywords or phrases

      • e.g. vascular plants or mycorrhiza

    • search for terms in specific fields

      • e.g. king in au, vascular plants in ti


    Construct the search strategy l.jpg
    Construct the Search Strategy

    • “are there articles on mycorrhizas or mycorrhizal symbioses in vascular plants written in the last 5 years?”

    • (mycorrhizas or mycorrhizal symbioses) and vascular plant? and py>=2000


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    Determine Which Databases to Search

    • Microbiology Abstracts: Algology, Mycology & Protozoology – references in biological life sciences, medicine, and microbiology

      http://www.csa.com/factsheets/microbiology-c-set-c.php

    • Web of Science - citation databases contain the references cited by the authors of the articles, also use these references to do cited reference searching- find articles that cite a previously published work

      http://scientific.thomson.com/media/scpdf/ba_qrc_11_15.pdf

    • Biological Abstracts - coverage of worldwide journal literature in the life sciences including agriculture, biochemistry, biotechnology, ecology, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, public health, and toxicology http://www.biosis.org/media/pdf/qrc/BIOSIS_on_SilverPlatter_QRC.pdf


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