Section 4 Concepts/keywords > Database choice > Exercise > Boolean Operators > Truncation > Exercise > Review > Exercise

Planning a Database Search

A database is a catalog of publication information about periodical articles (and sometimes books) that can be searched usually by subject, author, or title. Some contain summaries of each article, and some provide the full-text of all or some articles.

Imagine that you are beginning research on the following question:

The following are the steps you would follow in creating a database search strategy. First, identify the concepts in your research question, which are marijuana, legalized, and medical.

Second, create a list of keywords, synonyms for the concepts in your research question and possibly abbreviations and alternate spellings for the concepts.These will be your search terms. New try your hand at creating one or more keywords for each concept.

Check your list against the one below.


marihuana, cannabis, hashish


Now you are ready for the third step, choosing a database.

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