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Database Search Strategies

Select Keywords

Selecting & Using Keywords from Joshua Vossler on Vimeo.

Determine Your Keywords

Take your research question and pull out important concepts and ideas. These will become the words and phrases you use during your search. 


What is the relationship between dog ownership and heart health

  • dog ownership
  • heart health 

How does universal health care impact healthcare costs in Canada

  • universal health care
  • healthcare costs
  • Canada

What effect do violent films have on children's behavior

  • violent 
  • films 
  • children 
  • behavior 

What methods of strength training are most effective in young adults?

  • methods
  • strength training
  • young adults 

How does anxiety correlate with academic performance in teenagers?

  • anxiety 
  • academic performance
  • teenagers

Keyword Synonyms

Struggling? Identify synonyms to your keywords to use as an alternative. 


  • coffee
  • tea
  • soda
  • energy drinks


  • long-term memory
  • short-term memory
  • memorization
  • retention

college students

  • university students
  • undergraduates
  • graduates
  • juniors
  • freshmen


  • mobile device
  • texting
  • talking
  • calling
  • email


  • car
  • truck
  • traffic


  • risk
  • hazard
  • accident
  • injury