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BIO 390: Junior Seminar in Natural Science: Keywords

Keywords are Critical

When beginning your research, start by identifying keywords and phrases that describe your topic:

  • Brainstorm alternate keywords or synonyms
  • Author's or scientist's names

These keywords and phrases will help you find relevant materials

If you are looking for research reports or review papers, pair your search terms with the term or phrases:

  • Method* or "Methods and Materials" to find research reports
  • Review* to find review papers

Strategies for Identifying Keywords

There are many ways to identify keywords and phrases that will help you find information on your topic:

  • Look at your textbook, a periodical article, or an encyclopedia  
  • Look for keywords in your search results in the library catalog and online databases:
    • Resources you find in the library catalog have a list of subjects describing what the resource is about
    • Abstracts of articles in the online databases usually have lists of keywords or descriptors detailing what the article is about 
  • Use a database's thesaurus / subject terms 

Reference Librarian

Linda Park's picture
Linda Park
(315) 279-5208