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PSYC 110 Intro to Psychology: Search Strategies

Keyword Searching

How do I select keywords?

This video explains how to start a literature search. Click the icon left of the "v" for full screen.

Selecting and Using Keywords (CC) from PALNI on Vimeo.

Finding Subject Headings

Find subject headings in Spartan Search:


  • Use keywords to find a good resource
  • Click on the title
  • Click on View Description
  • Use "Subjects" to focus your search
  • Look at "Contents" and "Summary" for additional keywords









Click image to enlarge

Find subject headings in EBSCO databases:


  • Use keywords to find a good article
  • Click on the title
  • Click Detailed Record icon on the left side of the screen
  • Use Subject Terms to focus your search
  • Look at Author Supplied Keywords and the abstract for additional keywords

Click image to enlarge

Use advanced search:


  • Combine subject terms to focus your search even further
  • If available, use a drop down box to search by subject
  • Use quotation marks to search a subject phrase

Boolean Searching

Using Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) with your keywords will help you narrow or expand your results.

The highlighted middle section represents the use of AND. Searching for poverty AND addiction will give you results with both words present. Therefore, your results are fewer.

Using OR between similar keywords will give you results that include both words. Therefore, your results are greater. A search for teenagers OR adolescents will retrieve either or both terms.

The NOT operator gives you results from only one of your words. Therefore, your results are fewer. Searching for addiction NOT alcohol will eliminate alcohol from the results.

Click images to enlarge


How do I do an advanced search in EBSCO?

This video explains how to narrow your search results with multiple fields, by year, and by type of source. 

Creating an Advanced Search(CC) from EBSCO on YouTube

Search Strategies Video

Online Research: Tips for Effective Search Strategies

Video by Sarah Clark

Note: Click the icon in the bottom right corner to maximize video.