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Introduction to Power Searching Workshop: 12. Jump In


1.   Try stating your inquiry in one sentence

2.  Circle the key concepts. Can you express your question in a Venn diagram?

3.  Turn every circle in your VENN into a column and consider all the synonyms.

4. Jump into PsycINFO  for starters.

5.  Start with the Thesaurus in PsycINFO.  Are there Subject Headings on your topic?

6.  Do you need to go further and make sets from other fields, e.g. Keywords, Abstract, Title?

7.  'OR' together all sets that belong in each circle of your VENN

8. Combine the larger sets with AND 

9.  Refine your results.

10.  Export to a PDF list with return links [if you have a MyEBSCO account- another topic]

11.  Export to Refworks [ if you have set that up already.]



State your topic

Identify key concepts

Sketch a Venn Diagram of your search plan

Consider synonyms

Select the best resources in which you are likely to find the topic.

Consider the fields, controlled vocabulary and syntax of the database.

Run a trial search

Reflect on what you discover.

Refine your topic [narrow, exclude, expand] accordingly

Critically analyze what you find. Have you considered your own bias in the search? Whose voices might be left out? Whose are privileged? 

Repeat as needed