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SOCY 122: Introduction to Academic Library Research

Course guide library research tutorial

Search Strategies

When conducting research, the key to successful searching is not in the quantity of search results, but rather how relevant and appropriate they are to the topic. Whether you are searching the web with a search engine such as Google, or searching a research resource like Summon, the Library catalogue (QCAT) or another library database, there are some common search techniques that can be employed to improve the efficiency of the search results.

In this module, we will look at strategies for constructing an effective search in a library database. You will learn to create an effective search strategy using:

  • relevant keywords
  • Boolean operators
  • parentheses (nested searching)
  • phrases
  • truncation