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Search Smarter: Finding information for the Health Sciences: Step 5: Search Strategy

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

What is a search strategy?

How will you combine your keywords and synonyms?

Start small using one or two keywords, then combine the results from separate searches at the end.


1. Combine keywords using AND (this is automatic in most databases). 

This will narrow the number of results.


2. Add synonyms with OR to get more results.


1. Hand hygiene AND Infection control AND Hospitals 

(combines three keywords)


2. Handwashing OR surgical scrub              (Search 1)

    Infection control OR infection protection   (Search 2)

    Hospitals OR health care centres            (Search 3)


(Run  three separate searches, then combine all the results with AND)


Tip: Check the help or search tips screen to identify what that database uses to allow these actions to be performed .


Here is a Search strategy work sheet to help you  record your search strategies.

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