It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Four easy steps to plan your literature search
A guide by Academics Librarians on planning your literature search
Beginning with your research question, consider how you can break this down into meaningful search words or keywords and phrases. Try to pull out keywords from the question or brief that are relevant to your search
Example: The impact of social media on the spread of fake news
Possible Keywords for searching: social media, social networks, fake news, misinformation, filter bubbles, news feeds
Tip- Make a note of any keywords so you can keep track of what you have searched
Think about related areas
This step requires you to think outside the box and consider other aspects that are relevant to the topic or research question. Consider:
What you already know about the topic;
What can you find out about the topic through an initial search
Tip- Do some background reading around the topic e.g. use introductory books, the web, newspapers
The next step is to think of any variations of the search words or any other relevant keywords, including:
Synonyms – social media, social networks, social platforms
Spelling – behaviour/behavior
Abbreviations – UX (user experience), SMP (social media platforms)
Endings - network* network/networks/networking
Create meaningful search strategies
The next stage is to bring some of the keywords together to create meaningful search strategies. If you are trying to narrow your search down then link keywords with ‘AND’.
social media AND fake news AND UK.
To broaden your searches you can use ‘OR’ e.g. social media OR social networks
Tips- Pick up on any keywords or descriptors as you search and add these to your plan.
The next step is to test out some of your keywords and search strategies online to locate information.
You may need to revisit your search plan once you have carried out an initial search or you can add to your list of keywords as you find useful information.