Once you have decided that the resources you need are scholarly articles, and you have chosen an appropriate database from the Find Articles tab, the next step is to create a search.
Most people have learned to search using Google, but this is not efficient when using scholarly databases. Those who are searching efficiently do 4 things:
This guide is going to spend some time covering how to prepare a more efficient search strategy and some of the features of databases that make them useful for conducting scholarly research.
Preparing an efficient search strategy requires you to:
A thesis statement or a research hypothesis is not equivalent to a search you would do in a database. You may have to translate a thesis statement into multiple searches in order to understand multiple aspects of an issue.
The main things to keep in mind when creating a searchable question is that it needs to be or have:
Which of the following is a searchable question that follows SAM principles?
Computers understand mathematical logic, so when you set up a search string, there are three main operations you can do. These operations are represented with three short words, known as Boolean Operators. Each operator tells the computer to perform a different type of action between the terms, or sets of terms, in your search.
Looking back at our list of synonyms, utilizing our symbols and combining ideas appropriately with Boolean operators, we might end up with a final search that looks similar to this:
("low carb diet" OR "low carbohydrate diet" OR "paleo diet" OR Atkin's) AND ("blood glucose" OR "blood sugar" OR HbA1c OR glycohemoglobin) AND ("type II diabetes" OR "type 2 diabetes" OR "diabetes mellitus")
The above search can be copied and pasted into a single search bar, like those seen on the front page of most databases.