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Search Guide

How do I search?

Here we’ll give you some tips for how you plan your searches and choose search words.



Looking for literature is what you do throughout the writing process. During the time when you are reading and writing you may get new ideas and suggestions that create a need for further literature and searches. Therefore it’s a good idea to allow for time for literature searches.


Research question

It’s a good idea to have thought about your question first, with a point of departure in a research question or problem. Based on this you write down the most important words to be able to pinpoint keywords to search for.




Academic research is to a great extent written in English. Therefore you will for the most part need to translate the search words into English. If you are unsure you can start with the translations that a regular translation service or a dictionary gives. Perhaps it won’t always be quite right straight away, but if nothing else works it can work as a starting point for finding better search words.


There is often a variety of terms to express a given concept, and your literature search will of course be more successful if you can capture the most frequent and exact concepts used in your area. Therefore it is important to be observant both when you search and when you read! Which terms do the authors use to describe your topic? Which keywords does the database provide for the search hits that have relevance to your topic?

Example: You wish to find literature on how to implement effective project planning. A search of the library catalog Primo on "project evaluation" AND "project management" AND success gives you a list of manuals and scholarly articles on project planning. You can refine the search further by using the so-called search filters in the side column and thus get even more precise search hits.