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What happens in a database search if the search terms are too broad?

Last Updated: May 15, 2015  |  119 Views

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Database research isn't like winning the lottery - more is not always better! Looking for only one term in a keyword search will usually give you far too many results to be useful, meaning that your search is too broad.

In order to streamline the search to your specific topic, one strategy is to think of ways to describe the concepts that would appear in your ideal article. For example, searching for "fair trade" will probably result in many articles, but "fair trade" AND "criticism" might yield fewer but more relevant results.

Remember that if you need any assistance brainstorming keywords or using databases, you are welcome and encouraged to ask a librarian!

Answered by Mikael KrizBookmark and Share

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