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Biomedical Engineering

Search Tips

Example topic: osteoporosis after steroid treatment of ulcerative colitis

ID the key concepts of your question, in this case—

osteoporosis

steroids

ulcerative colitis

Come up with related terms for each key concept.
TIP! Use the UT Libraries Generate Search Terms tool to create search strategies like the one below.

In some databases, it can be helpful to use truncation to search for terms that begin with a word root.

osteoporo*

will search for

osteoporosis, osteoporoses, osteoporotic, osteoporotically...

First, search each key concept separately (lines #1, #2, #3). Consult the database’s search history to see how many hits your terms produce. Big numbers are your friend. If there are too few hits for a key concept, add more synonyms or some broader terms. If there are too many hits, remove terms and/or use narrower terms.

Then combine search lines, as shown (lines #4, #5).

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