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Find Scholarly Articles

Keywords

Keywords are words that can appear anywhere in an article including the title or the article text. You'll use keywords to search all of the library databases.   

Before you begin searching, try to think of the keywords and related terms that best describe and relate to your topic. For example, if you were researching depression in new moms, you might come up with this list: postpartum, mothers, infants, depression, baby blues, PPD, postpartum depression, babies, postnatal, after birth, moms, and newborns.

When it comes to searching academic databases, use scientific language. For instance, search mothers instead of moms. Another example might be looking for children instead of kids.

  • Identify a few keywords and search using only those words: depression postpartum mothers.
  • Avoid natural language: Asking a database "Why are new moms depressed?" won't get you very good results.
  • Make sure terms are spelled correctly and that you use other terms that might also apply to, or describe your topic.  For example if you want to find articles about teenagers, you should also use the terms adolescents and young adults.
  • If you aren't sure about what keywords to use, consider reading an encyclopedia article on your topic to get ideas for other keywords.
  • Ask the library staff or your instructor for suggestions on keywords to use.