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Sonography: Using Keywords & Basic Search Strategies

This guide is designed to help sonography students with their research needs.

Brainstorming Keywords

The words you type into the search box affect your search results. Not all authors use the same language to describe similar topics, so you will need to try a variety of searches.

  • Create a list of possible words that could appear in a book or article related to your topic of interest.
  • Come up with synonyms or related terms for those.
  • Stick to using 2-4 nouns when searching.

Find Phrases with Quotation Marks

  • radiologic imaging technology
  • “nuclear medicine”
  • "United States"

Connect Keywords with Boolean Operators

Operator Example
AND joins dissimilar terms. It helps narrow your search. women AND self-esteem
OR joins similar terms. It helps broaden your search.

women OR girls

Use AND & OR together, as well.

women OR girls

AND self-esteem

Look for Variations of Words with Truncation

The asterisk * is the most common truncation symbol.

  • child* = child, children, childhood, etc.

You do have to be careful with truncation. Sometimes you might get unexpected results.

  • tech* = tech, technology, technologies, technical, technically, etc.

How to Choose Keywords

McMaster Libraries (2:42)

Online Research: Tips for Effective Search Strategies

Sarah Clark (3:04)