A search strategy is an organized structure of key terms used to search a database. The search strategy combines the key concepts of your search question in order to retrieve accurate results.
Your search strategy will account for all:
Each database works differently so you need to adapt your search strategy for each database. You may wish to develop a number of separate search strategies if your research covers several different areas.
It is a good idea to test your strategies and refine them after you have reviewed the search results.
This is a sample planner to develop your search terms from a PICO format
Once you have developed your research question or chosen your topic you can begin to brainstorm terms to use in your database search.
Boolean Operators (Using AND, OR NOT):
Boolean logic is a building block of many computer applications and is an important concept in database searching. Using the correct Boolean operator can make all the difference in a successful search.
AND, OR, NOT
There are three basic Boolean search commands: AND, OR and NOT.
Using Boolean Search with Exact Phrases:
If you're searching for a phrase rather than just a single word, you can group the words together with quotation marks. Searching on "dengue fever" will return only items with that exact phrase.
When to use Parentheses?
Think of your search in concepts, then put those concepts inside parentheses. Different databases have different rules about combining searches. To make sure you get the search you want, use parentheses - every database follows those rules.
Look at titles and publication dates to decide which articles you want to look at in depth.