3. What key words should you use?

Focusing on the most important words in your search question is vital to planning a good search. Returning to our previous examples of information needs and search questions, we have highlighted the key words:

  • ‘How can we improve the health of looked-after children?’
  • ‘Can key worker systems for disabled children and their parents help increase family income?’
  • ‘Are user-held records more effective than agency-held records in achieving greater user satisfaction with services and greater record accuracy?

Review your own search question and identify the key words. It is important now to identify equivalents for your key words, to ensure your subsequent search is comprehensive.