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Intro to Nursing Resources

A guide to conducting Nursing research in the AU Libraries

Developing a Search Searching Strategy

A search strategy is a plan that helps you look for the information you need:

  • Identify the key concepts in your research topic.
  • Determine synonyms or alternative terms for these concepts, if needed.
  • Use Boolean Operators to combine your search terms: if you want to find the intersection of two search terms, use the operator AND. If you want to look for synonyms for search terms, use the OR operator. If you want to exclude a particular term, you can use the NOT operator.
  • Refine or limit your search to publication dates, population study groups, peer-reviewed journals, etc., as appropriate to your topic.
  • Practice helps. Strategies and styles will differ according to personal choice and professional discipline.


                                                                           Boolean Operators


The Boolean Machine - A tool for visualizing the effects of Boolean operators on keyword searches. It was created to teach the importance of Boolean operators in effective search strategies. Click on the image below to see how it works.