Skip to main content

GEOG90021 Conservation and Cultural Environments

Library resources to support students studying GEOG90021

Search Strategies

On completion of this module you will be able to:

  • understand the importance of keywords for effective searching
  • use synonyms and subject terms to generate keywords
  • apply phrase searching, truncation and wildcard terms effectively
  • use Boolean operators to broaden or narrow your search

Other useful guides that can help you with research skills.

Why do I need to know about keywords?

  • Keywords give you the best chance of finding relevant information by clarifying what it is you are searching for
  • Identifying keywords from concepts is a key part of understanding your topic
  • Keywords allow you to capture results you might otherwise miss
  • Keywords can help to broaden or narrow your search

How do I know which keywords to use in my search?

The first step is to consider the key concepts in your topic. Consider the following topic:

"Discuss the possible tensions in the management of heritage and conservation icons"

The main concepts are tensions, management, heritage and conservation

  • brainstorm and list related terms or synonyms for each concept
  • you can include these terms to broaden your search
  • consider geographical location if required


Tension Management Heritage & Conservation
conflict governance culture
problem planning archaeology
barrier risk management architecture
    world heritage sites


 TIP: Consider variations in spelling: colour/color, organise/organize, theatre/theater.

This short video explains how to link keywords using Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and explains other search tips.

For example: (conservation OR heritage OR culture) AND management


Use quote marks when searching for a phrase (more than one word). For example: "water shortage", "climate change"

This will ensure the search is for the exact phrase rather than two separate words and will hence return specifc results and save you time. 


The wildcard symbol '?' will match any single character (although some databases and catalogues use the "*" symbol for a wildcard as well). For example, wom?n will include women and woman.


Use the truncation symbol '*' (asterisk) to help you search for alternate forms of your keywords. For example, child* will include child, children, children's.

Loading ...