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Finding Scientific Articles: Execute your Search Strategy

Step 5 - Perform your search strategy

Perform your search strategy

Most databases work with Boolean logic applied to keywords representing the topic. Additionally, you must adapt your search strategy to the different databases.

In almost all science and engineering databases, the keywords used to search must be in English.

Here is an example of a search strategy in Compendex:

To measure the impact of each concept, it is important to execute your search strategy step by step, thus, adding one concept at a time.

For example, if your search strategy yields 12,000 articles, you can determine which keyword(s) bring(s) about too many results.

Conversely, if your search strategy produces no results, one of your concepts may be too restrictive.

Executing your search strategy step by step will enable you to target what modifications to make to optimize your search.

Consult the video on this page to learn more on how to perform a step-by-step search by subject in Compendex (in French only).

Example of searching articles by subject

Did you know...

When you gather information, it is important to record the sources in order to be able to cite them, otherwise, it is plagiarism!

Consult the Ethical Use of Information guide to learn how to cite and manage your references.

Use reference management software to manage your references, create bibliographies, and automatically update them. For information about which software to choose, refer to the Bibliographic Management Software guide.