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Systematic Review (SR)

An overview to get you started

Web Search Strategies in Plain English

Keywords and Synonyms

  • The keywords used for a particular topic in a Library database might differ from the language used in casual conversation.
  • Try to think of synonyms for your keywords
  • Synonyms = a word that has the same meaning as another word in the same language (from

Using Boolean Terms

Once you have narrowed your topic down to a few keywords, it's time to use Boolean terms to combine your keywords and make your search more "intelligent."

Boolean terms provide your search with a logical structure that helps you find that "sweet spot" between finding too many results, and finding too few.


AND--Narrows results

OR--Expands results

NOT--Narrows results

Check out more on Boolean Terms

About search limiters

  • Search limiters are another tool that allow us to create a more specific, directed search when using Library databases.
  • Another way to think of search limiters is as search filters---meaning they help filter out all of the unwanted search results that can bog us down.
  • Search limiters often inlclude common database search features such as date ranges, peer-reviwed limiters, full-text only limiters, etc.