Below are some strategies that will help you search databases effectively and efficiently. You don't have to use all of them but try out a few!
Break your research topics into the most important concepts. Don't enter questions or sentences into the database.
Research topic = create low cost, wearable device to continuously monitor a fetus in utero
Concepts = low cost, wearable, monitor, fetus
Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to connect keywords. They must be capitalized! Think of the Venn diagrams below to help you decide which operator to use.
dementia AND treatment NOT diagnosis
Note of caution: If you use NOT, you may be excluding relevant results. So you should do the search both with and without the NOT operator.
To search for a phrase (2+ words in a row), put the phrase in quotation marks (" ")
"hip replacement" "logistics planning" "three-dimensional printing"
Use truncation to find all forms of a word by putting an asterisk (*) at the end of the root word
computat* = computation, computations, computative, computational, etc.
Brainstorm synonyms for your keywords and connect them with the OR Boolean operator
drone OR unmanned aerial vehicle
Use parentheses ( ) to connect different concepts
(cancer OR tumor OR neoplasm) AND ("mobile phone" OR "cellular phone")