Concept mapping and keywords
This page on joining your keywords will assist you to develop a search that will retrieve relevant, scholarly results for your assignments.
- Pathways to relevant information
- Concept mapping and developing useful keywords
- Joining your keywords to increase or reduce the number of search results
Watch the short videos, and read the content to make sure you know how to develop a successful search strategy with relevant keywords.
Individual items in a library catalogue or journal database are known as records. Each record contains a number of fields, most of which can be searched.
Keyword searching is very powerful because it searches all fields simultaneously, unlike author, title or subject searches which search only in the specified field.
Use keyword searching when:
Combining more than one topic or aspect of a topic
Simultaneously searching all fields of a record
The exact title or author of an item is not known
Joining your keywords successfully
Keyword searching allows you to combine more than one term in a search. To do this effectively, connectors or joining words are used between the terms . AND, OR, and NOT are three connectors, and these are used to join two or more keywords.
Using AND will narrow or refine the search. ALL keywords will be present in each record that is retrieved. The more keywords connected by AND, the fewer results will be retrieved.
Using OR will broaden the search, increasing the number of results that are retrieved in a search. At least ONE of the keywords must be present in each search result. More results will be retrieved, by using the OR connector. Remember: OR gives mORe.
Using NOT will narrow the search by excluding certain results. NOT is used when a particular keyword is not required. NOT finds records with the first keyword and then excludes records containing the second keyword.