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IQP Research Guide

Be Persistent with Keywords

Often, the first keyword search you try will not yield relevant results. Do not be discouraged if this happens - it happens to all of us (even librarians)! The key is to be persistent. If your first search doesn't work, try searching for synonyms or for variations of your keywords.

Learn the Lingo

Every topic, discipline, and subculture has its own lingo, jargon, and key concepts. For example, consider the following sentence:

  • "I need a 0/1 blue Homunculus artifact creature token.” 

This sentence will make perfect sense to someone who plays Magic: The Gathering, but it may sound strange to someone who doesn't. The more you play the game, the more familiar you'll become with the lingo. Similarly, the more you read about your topic, the more familiar you'll become with the language used in that field. By reading and learning this new language, you'll be able to improve your keyword searching by incorporating new vocabulary words into your searches. 

Every place has its own dialect, languages, and idioms. For example, in South Africa, a childcare center is called a creche. A search for "South Africa" AND creche will yield more relevant results than a search for "South Africa" AND "childcare center"

For more help with languages, check out the Foreign Languages section of this guide.

Generating Keywords