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Search Smarter: Finding information for the Health Sciences: Step 2: Synonyms

A guide on how to find information for assignments and research in the Health arena.

What are synonyms?

Synonyms can be:

Different spellings of same word eg. pediatrics OR paediatrics

Similar meanings/concepts eg. Cancer OR tumor OR tumour OR neoplasm


To identify synonyms use:

• Thesauri and lists in a database

• Dictionaries (online dictionary available via credo)

• Encyclopaedias

• Talk to other people (lecturers, tutors, peer groups)


Synonyms for the keywords identified from the short example in Step One:

Keyword 1 Keyword 2 Keyword 3
Hand hygiene Infection Control Hospitals
Handwashing Infection Protection Hospice
Hand Disinfection Cross infection control Health Care Centres
Surgical Scrub Communicable disease control Health facility


Here is a Search strategy work sheet to help you think through your keywords and synonyms, and record your search strategies.

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