This example from the thesaurus in ProQuest shows subject headings related to ‘global warming’
Use this worksheet to plan and record keywords.
|Keywords||Use the keywords from your topic|
Use appropriate connectors to focus or broaden your search
OR retrieves items that contain either of your keywords
NOT retrieves items that contain one and not the other of your keywords - use cautiously
Truncation symbols are placed at the end of a word stem to find variations of a word. The most commonly used symbol is the asterisk (*)
Be careful not to truncate too early in the word, as this may retrieve unrelated items
Proximity searching allows you to specify where your search terms will appear in relation to each other
Check the help notes in the database you are using
Phrase searching uses inverted commas around two or more words to tell the database that the words should be searched together in that order
Consider alternative and related keywords. The same idea can be described using different terms.
Use a subject heading search to focus your results. Subject headings describe the primary content of an item and can also identify alternative keywords. Subject headings may vary across databases. Subject searches also help where terminology in the literature changes over time.
Check to see if a thesaurus or 'map terms' option is available in the resource you are using. This will help identify synonyms, spelling variations, and broader or narrower terms.
Wildcard symbols allow you to search for spelling variations within the same or related terms. Specific wild card symbols will vary from database to database. Check the 'Help' section within the database you are using to find the correct wildcard symbol to use.
Nesting is the use of brackets to clarify relationships between search terms.
|Field Searching||Database searches default to search particular fields i.e. citation and abstract, but often offer the option to change the search field from a dropdown menu next to the search boxes. Explore the available dropdown menus to change the fields to be searched.|
|Date Range||Most databases allow you to set a date range to limit or expand your results|