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Searching for journal articles

Quicker, smarter, more effective searching.

Changing your search on the fly

This is a more advanced searching technique than the other techniques we have looked at, but if you master this style of searching then it can greatly improve your searching productivity and effectiveness.

It will be helpful if you have tried and feel comfortable with the previous search techniques before using this technique

 

Click the Transcript button to see the transcript of the video above

Rather than type my entire search strategy in one big search, I like to use separate searches for each concept and then combine my searches afterwards.

Many databases have a search history, which shows you searches that you have already done, and allows you to combine those searches together. You can then view the results of the combined searches

Often I will think of another search word later, or see a new search term in the list of results, or I find that one of my search terms is not useful (for example, searching for management in some databases finds too many articles on case management or wound management or other topics).

By putting each concept in a separate search, I can quickly change that specific search, then combine the concepts again for a better set of results.

Try it yourself

Use concepts from one of your own assignments

 

what to do
  1. do separate searches for each concept part
    e.g. a search for "mobile phones OR "cell phones"
    and another search for privacy OR confidentiality
  2. combine the different concepts using the search history feature
    e.g.
    don't forget to clear the search box before combining separate searches

    "mobile phones OR "cell phones"
    privacy OR confidentiality
  3. modify (retype) one of the concept searches and search again
    e.g. "mobile phones OR "cell phones" OR "cellular phones" OR smartphones
  4. combine again using the new search line
    don't forget to clear the search box before combining separate searches

    4. "mobile phones OR "cell phones" OR smartphones new search
    3. 1 AND 2 previous combined search
    2. "mobile phones OR "cell phones" un-tick the search you're replacing
    1. privacy OR confidentiality

Click the button below to try the instructions above in

Academic Search Complete

(you will need your Federation login, the same one you use to access Federation email and Moodle)

Remember, use concept searches from your own assessment task - Academic Search Complete is a multidisciplinary database with a wide coverage of many disciplines

Academic Search Complete is a multidisciplinary database with a wide coverage of many disciplines, but other database may be more applicable to your specific discipline.

You can find more databases here: https://libguides.federation.edu.au/az.php. Use the Subject drop-down to find databases for your disciplinary area

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