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Basic Research Steps
- Decide what you need to find.
- Determine the best place to search for it.
- Experiment with search terms and search syntax. Capture what looks valuable, but focus on developing your search strategy. If you can create a "clean" search you will find everything on your topic and nothing not on your topic: the database software will do its work for you.
- Evaluate what you've found:
- Are the results on target or do you need to tweak your search?
- Have you covered all the aspects of the topic you need?
- Do you need to focus in on one or more aspects?
- Do you need to expand your search?
- ... back to step 1.
We're here to help!
You can get research help any time, day or night. Right now (during the pandemic lock down) it's through a chat service. You can find links for "Ask a Librarian" on the Library Home Page, or use:
Find the root word with any ending:
To find rehabilitation or rehabilitate or rehabilitating or rehabilitated, search the root of the word followed by the truncation symbol: Example: rehabilitat*
- OneSearch: Truncation symbol: *
- PubMed: Truncation symbol: *
- Sports Medicine & Education Index: Truncation symbol: *
- Science Direct: Truncation symbol: !
Note: When you use "or" it is wise to force the set - put parentheses around the terms you want grouped.
Example: arthritis and "physical therapy" and ("motor function" or movement)
If you find an article that is exactly on topic, look at its indexing (subject headings or descriptors). Find the ones that apply to your topic and use those in a subject field search to find everything in the database that is focused on that topic.