4.1.5 Conducting the Search

Date Published

An iterative approach should generally be adopted when searching. Searching iteratively allows you to re-visit your search strategies and incorporate expertise from your 3PT. Searching is a dynamic procedure and the following steps/prompts may be useful to consider during the search process;

  • Keep a systematic record of your progress (i.e. sources of information, results found, search terms and Boolean logic that has been used)
  • Does the search appear to be producing relevant results? Are result numbers as expected i.e. are they significantly higher or lower you were expecting?
  • Modify search strategy if the number of citations is not appropriate or manageable. Any such modification should be made in light of the results already retrieved e.g. which search terms are considered useful and which provide meaningless results? Does search need to focus on different technical features? etc
  • If it is suspected that the search is not achieving the desired results, cease searching and reconvene 3PT to discuss revising the search strategy (i.e. correct the search strategy before retrieving and reviewing the results in full).
  • If you are not retrieving relevant results, consider why this is - perhaps it is the choice of search terms or classification symbols? Take this learning back to the 3PT for discussion and re-align your search.

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