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Literature Searching




What is literature searching?

Literature searching is an exhaustive search for published information on a subject conducted systematically using all available bibliographic finding tools aimed at locating as much existing material on the topic as possible, an important initial step of any serious research project.


Background of literature searching


Objectives of literature searching


Types of publications



Scientific publications

Nonscientific publications

Challenges of literature searching

Skills in literature searching


Search Tools

Catalog (Catalog)

The three available search methods are:

Standard Search

Enhanced Search

Visual Catalog Search

Web Search Engine

Search Terms

Subject Headings

Subject Headings are a list of controlled language commonly used to classify library material housed in the collection. They represent the key topic of a publication.

Boolean Logic


Nesting, represented by symbol (  ) is a technique of searching that considers similar concepts, indicated by logical command OR and expressed in different terms, as a single term.

Limits /Filters

Most databases offer limit functions to help users limit search results that are too broad or too many.
Limits are commonly specified according:


Stages in searching


Tips for Effective Searches