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I need to select terms or keywords to search with

 

When searching in library research databases, it is important to search using the essential key concepts that make up your topic because the more terms that you use in your search, the fewer results you will get.

A search like impact of gender on people's salary expectations will get you far fewer results than if you searched for gender AND salary AND expectations.

It is also valuable to think of all of the terms that mean the same thing as your key concepts. Just because you think of the word salary does not mean that all of the authors are using that word. They might use terms like wages, pay, income, or earnings.

Searching for all of those terms together with OR between them (for example: gender OR pay OR wages OR income OR earnings) tells the search engine to find at least one of these terms in your search results. It allows you to find all of the possible works on your topic at once without knowing exactly which term each author will use.

How can you brainstorm the key concepts, keywords, and synonyms for your topic? Reference Resources at the King Library or Wikipedia can provide you with basic information about your topic, including keywords, people's names, or place names you may not have thought of before.

If you are focusing on a particular academic discipline (e.g., Psychology, Education, Business), use OneSearch to find subject-specific encyclopedias and reference sources in your field to find basic information on your topic and to discover new keywords. For example, searching on biology AND encyclopedia in OneSearch will bring up the Encyclopedia of Systems Biology and the Encyclopedia of Molecular Biology.