1. Onderzoeksvraag2. Zoektermen – 3. Informatiebronnen – 4. Zoeken – 5. Selecteren van informatie – 6. Verwerken van bronnen

Introduction
Thinking of searching terms
Resources
Summary

Thinking of search terms

During the problem analysis you have divided the main question, if necessary, into a number of sub questions and translated them into Search questions.

An effective way of searching is the “building block method”. You first divide your (search) question into a number of components. On the basis of this you come up with specific search terms with which you start searching.

Example:

Your main question is: ‘What influence does the consumption of coffee have on the study success of students?’

The main components of this question are:

  • Influence
  • Coffee
  • Study success
  • Students

For each of the components (keywords), think of different search terms. You can think of:

  • Keywords and alternatives (influence / effect / impact)
  • Synonyms (study success / study efficiency)
  • Singular and plural (student / students)
  • Abbreviations (European Union / EU)
  • Spelling variants (21 / 21st)
  • Translations (coffee)
  • Broader and narrower search terms (coffee / cappuccino)

For a good overview, it is useful to put the found search terms into a chart:

Influence Coffee Study success Students
EffectElaboration

Function

Result

Influence

Consequence

Warm drinkCappuccino

Espresso

Caffeine

Coffee

Caffeine

Study efficiency Study resultsStudying

Studying

Concentration capacity

Concentrate

StudentStudying

Pupil

Trainee

Students

You can combine these search terms at a later stage, in step 4.

Technical terms

Scientists and other professionals use specialist terms in their publications. If you do not know these terms, you can easily miss important publications. Also bear in mind that the language of the scientific world is English.

  • Check a number of scientific or professional publications on your subject to find out more about specific terms.
  • Search for specific terms by trying some of the terms you already have. Look for new terms in the results. You can use the snowball method for this.

Antonyms

Sometimes it can be useful to search with antonyms. These are words with an opposite meaning that can also provide relevant information.

Examples of antonyms are:

“unemployment – employment”

“prosperity – poverty” “growth – shrinkage”