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Exercise Science Research Guide: Keyword Searching

This Library Guide was created especially for Kinesiology students.

 

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    Database technology has not yet advanced to the Star Trek level which would allow you can talk to a computer as you would to a person and have it understand exactly what you mean.

     A keyword search allows a human to tell a database what they are looking for in a way that makes it easy for the database to respond.  To create a keyword search, select the words and/or phrases that are the best match for the topic.  Be aware that the keyword search you begin with will most likely require changes in order to retrieve the most useful results and not so many results that you are overwhelmed.  This is absolutely normal.  It also makes the best use of your research time since it allows you to zero in on relevant articles more quickly than going through screen after screen of disappointing results hoping to spot something good.

EXAMPLE 1: TURNING A TOPIC INTO A KEYWORD SEARCH & REFINING IT

TOPIC

I would like to do something on disabled sports.

KEYWORD SEARCH - disabled sports

Too many database results, almost a thousand.

KEYWORD SEARCH REFINED - wheelchair sports

Using a more specific keyword got fewer results but still a lot, hundreds.

KEYWORD SEARCH REFINED AGAIN - wheelchair sports basketball

Fewer results but still a lot.

KEYWORD SEARCH REFINED WITH BUILT-IN DATABASE OPTIONS

  • Peer reviewed (on search screen)
  • Source type - Scholarly Journals
  • Document type - Articles
  • Date range - 2016 to 2021

A list of 54 articles.

Refining a keyword search is also known as narrowing your search.

Watch the Sports Medicine & Education tutorial in this Library Guide to see a demonstration of this search.

EXAMPLE 2: TURNING A TOPIC INTO A KEYWORD SEARCH & REFINING IT

TOPIC

What kinds of injuries do you get from playing soccer?

KEYWORD SEARCH - common soccer injuries

Too many results.

KEYWORD SEARCH REFINED WITH BUILT-IN DATABASE OPTIONS

  • Last 5 Years
  • Journal Articles
  • Practice Guideline
  • Female

ONE LAST REFINEMENT - common soccer injuries head

A list of 25 results on a more specific topic.

 

Watch the PubMed tutorial in this Library Guide to see a demonstration of this search.

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