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MULT90004 Sustainability Governance and Leadership

A research guide to support OEP students studying MULT90004

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

1. 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

2. 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 question:

"How should sustainability leaders navigate the complex terrain of contemporary global environmental governance?"

The main concepts are sustainability, leaders or sustainability leaders, global, environmental, governance or environmental governance.

Now brainstorm and list related terms or synonyms for each concept. They may be broader or narrower than the original term

Sustainability

Leaders

Global

Environmental

Governance

environmental

leadership

world

green

policy

eco

managers/management

earth

environmental

guidance

organic

staff

planet

eco

compliance

green

directors

 

organic

protection

 

operations

 

 

protocol

 

 

 

 

GEG

 

 

 

 

co-operation

Keyword Searching 101 Christine DeMeyer added 6 November 2015 https://youtu.be/8Mo5G1wCAMU

To re-iterate:

Combine your keywords using Boolean operators to broaden or narrow your search. 

AND will narrow your search. Useful when your keywords are quite common and you need to be specific.

OR will broaden your search. Useful when your terms are very specific and you need to cast a wide net.

NOT eliminates a word from your search. Useful when you get two terms often found together and you are only interested in one.

Combining Boolean Operators

You can combine Boolean operators into longer search strings. The search below can be entered like this:

(environmental OR eco) AND governance

It will return results containing "environmental" and "governance" and also "eco" and "governance".

Some more examples:

  • (media OR journalism) AND bias
  • (technique OR skill) AND practice
  • (creativity OR imagination) AND (children OR teenagers)
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