Question and Answer

How do I revise my search if I am not finding anything on my topic?

Searching is an iterative process, so you should expect to revise your search several times as you look for information.

Here are some quick ways to revise your search:

  1. Scan the titles, abstracts, and introductions of the articles that look the most promising. Look for additional keywords and highlight, underline or write them down to try in your next search.
  2. If you are getting too few results, try revising your search string. Look for words you can remove. Look for words that you can end with an asterisk ( * ) to get additional endings.
  3. If you are getting too many results, look for words you can put together with quotation marks to search as a phrase.
  4. Look for ways to add more focus to your search. Can you add a specific group (e.g. women), or a time period (e.g. 2000 –2020) or a place (e.g. Japan)?

Learn more

For more practice, try this tutorial: Should I Rethink My Search?

Should I Rethink My Search?

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