- Check Spelling
- Vocabulary – do you need different terms to apply to the databases?
- Are you in the right database? Some databases are multidisciplinary while others cover specific topic areas in aging, psychology, education, political science, health, etc. Try your search in different databases to see differing perspectives on a particular topic.
- Nothing out there…it’s possible you have discovered an area that needs more research
Too few hits? Consider using…
- Broader terms
- more synonyms
- fewer concepts
- fewer "ands"
- adjusting date range
Too many hits?
- Decrease synonyms
- Increase "ands" or phrases
- Use specific search fields from the drop down arrows found to the right or left of a search box. Try “major heading” or “subject”
- Apply limits or filters like date ranges or publication types (play to see what gives you the best result)
- put phrases (two or more words you'd like searched next to each other) in quotes (ex: "family science")