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MGT382 Research Skills Guide: Search strategies

Topic analysis

Let's start thinking about what terms you will use when searching for information. To do this:

  • Identify the key concepts of your topic (we call this a topic analysis) and then
  • Brainstorm as many synonyms and similar terms/phrases as you can.

This is a useful exercise because the language used to describe your topic may vary from source to source, and you don't want to miss out on a good source because it uses a different term to the one you are searching on.

This resource shows you how to Develop a Search Strategy (from Monash University).

Subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias can help to define terms and find related terms see the Management and Marketing Guides for links to resources.

Use the key concepts - or keywords to start searching Primo and the library databases. Use the Find Scholarly Information drop down menu for specific instructions and links.

Common Search Tips

These search tips can help you to find more relevant results in Primo Search and many other library databases. If these tips don't work in the database you are using check their help section for their set of symbols.

Search Operator Example
Use AND to retrieve results that contain both of your search terms. company AND competitive
Use OR to retrieve results that contain any or all of your search terms. organisation OR organization
Using NOT to exclude irrelevant results.> business organisation NOT health organisation
Combine terms with brackets to create complex searches. (business OR company) AND five forces
Use quotation marks to search for a phrase "driving forces of change"
Search for terms with different word endings using an asterisk. manag* = manage, managed, managing, management
A question mark can be used to replace a single letter within a word. organi?ation = organization or organisation


Dictionaries and Encyclopaedias

To start searching, it can be useful to begin with an encyclopaedia, dictionary or handbook to get an overview of your topic, or an explanation of words or concepts that are unfamiliar.

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