Moving from a Research Question to an effective Search Strategy involves breaking down a Research Question into its Core Concepts, brainstorming alternative Keywords for those concepts, and then constructing an effective Search Strategy using Boolean operators, nesting, truncation, and phrase searching. Here's an example:
Now, we can copy and paste this Search Strategy into the database search field:
(“gender differences” OR “sex differences” OR gender OR sex) AND (alzheimers OR dementia) AND (“male caregiv*” OR “female caregiv*”)
The Search Strategy Builder is a tool designed to teach you how to create a search string using Boolean logic. While it is not a database and is not designed to input a search, you should be able to cut and paste the results into most databases’ search boxes.
Now copy and paste the above Search Strategy into a database search box.
The Search Strategy Builder was developed by the University of Arizona Libraries(CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US).
Use this worksheet to break down your Research Question into Core Concepts; then construct an effective Search Strategy using Boolean operators, nesting, truncation, and phrase searching.
Population (describes the patient group - e.g., adult males 65+ who reside in assisted living homes)
Intervention (describes the action/disposition at hand - e.g., treatments, diagnostic tests)
Comparison (describes an alternative to your Intervention - e.g., not receiving that treatment)
Outcome (describes the outcome you want to measure - e.g., reduced mortality, increase in ability)
Do adult males 70+ who receive music therapy twice a week show improved scores on a memory test compared to adult females 70+ who receive music therapy twice a week?