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Chemistry: Using Keywords & Search Strategies

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.

Connect Keywords with Boolean Operators

Operator Example
AND joins dissimilar terms. It helps narrow your search. chemical AND pollution
OR joins similar terms. It helps broaden your search.

 pollutant OR pollution

Use AND & OR together, as well.

pollutant OR pollution

AND chemistry

Find Phrases with Quotation Marks

  • organic chemistry
  • “chemical pollution”
  • "hydrogen bond"

Selecting and Using Keywords

University of West Florida, John C. Pace Library, (3:50)

Online Research: Tips for Effective Search Strategies

Sarah Clark (3:04)