1. Database Preferred Vocabulary (Controlled Vocabulary) - Are you struggling to find relevant articles? Take a few minutes to browse the database preferred vocabulary or controlled vocabulary to see if the database recognizes different vocabulary. Do not delete your other search terms, but instead combine them with the Database Preferred Vocabulary. Below are three examples of how to locate and recognize the vocabulary in some different databases:
2. Defining your topic or Developing a question - The terms PICOT or PICO may look familiar. These are a common tool for structuring your question, to search a database, called (Patient or Population, Intervention, Counter Intervention, Outcome, and Treatment - where applicable).
3. What is a literature search? Why is it necessary? A literature search gives you an idea of the published research on your proposed topic. If you want to present on your project or topic, the goal is usually to introduce something new. If you do not see what other people have done, then you might do a lot of work only to discover that it is not relevant or applicable.
4. Have I looked enough? How much do I need to find? These are tough questions to answer, but they are important to consider.
5. Exporting Citations - if you use EndNote, Zotero, or something else to "collect" citations for a project; this feature is available in all databases - including Google Scholar.