Answered By: Laurie Bastien
Last Updated: Aug 08, 2018     Views: 171

When researching a topic in the Library, it's important to be as specific as possible when developing keywords and phrases in order to better target search results. For example, simply searching the term diabetes from the large search box on the Library welcome page will yield millions of results.

To better target search results, add search terms and phrases

For example, to reduce the number of articles about diabetes, add the additional keyword children. Search results will now focus more specifically about children with diabetes, and the number of retrieved results will be reduced. 

To target search results even further, add a third search term. For example, adding the term treatment will retrieve results about the treatment of diabetes in children.

Adding the additional search term has now reduced the number even more. While this is still quite a large number of search results, they are much more targeted to a specific topic.

Quick Tip #1: When searching a topic in the Library, always pay attention to the subject tags found within search result citations. They can be a great way to develop new keywords and phrases. For example, using the subject tags in the citation below, the new search phrase drug therapy could replace the keyword treatment:

Quick Tip #2: Sometimes adding quotation marks around a search phrase (e.g. "drug therapy") further targets the search results because the quotations tell the databases to search that exact phrase. 

Be aware that search result numbers can fluctuate depending upon database subscription content.

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