Creating a search query
For most databases and even Google you can combine search terms to write a search query that databases understand. A good search query will give you a good selection of highly relevant results. Below are a few examples of how to build a search string using climate change as a topic:
- Use quotation marks to search words as a phrase, e.g., "climate change"
- Use an asterisk with a word stem to search for variations on a term, e.g., sustain* for sustain, sustainability, sustaining
- Use the word AND to link together concepts, e.g., "climate change" AND sustain*
- Use the word OR to search for synonyms, e.g., "climate change" OR "global warming"
- Use parentheses to group terms, e.g., "climate change" AND (policy OR law)
Remember that searching is an iterative process—as you search and learn more about a topic, you will be able to refine your strategy.