AU Library Guide to Researching Topics in Women's Studies

Tips on ways to broaden or narrow a search:

Too few results? You may need to broaden your search.

  • Think of more synonyms/related terms to be combined with the OR operator (e.g. body image or eating disorders or dieting or nutrition).
  • Use truncation to vary the ending of words. The asterisk * is the symbol commonly used for truncation, but check the database help files (e.g. educ* would retrieve education/educational/educate)
  • The AND operator narrows a search. You may want to reduce the number of concepts you require. We could drop the concept promotion and search for two concepts (e.g. body image and teenage).
  • Remove limits such as a full text limit.

Too many results? You may need to narrow your search.

  • Try removing some of the synonyms/related terms (e.g. just search on body image).
  • Do you need to add another concept to focus your search? (e.g. if the search retrieved too many articles on male adolescents you could add terms to search for articles about female adolescents).
  • Impose limits such as full text, scholarly, publication dates, etc.
  • Use quotations for phrase searching (e.g. "body image"). This ensures that your search terms appear together and in the specified order.



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