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Lund University

Strategic Communication

Develop a search strategy

According to the Library of Leeds University, a "search strategy is an organised structure of key terms used to search a database. The search strategy combines the key concepts of your search question in order to retrieve accurate results.

Your search strategy will account for all:

  • possible search terms
  • keywords and phrases
  • truncated and wildcard variations of search terms
  • subject headings (where applicable)

Each database works differently so you need to adapt your search strategy for each database. You may wish to develop a number of separate search strategies if your research covers several different areas.

It is a good idea to test your strategies and refine them after you have reviewed the search results"

Leed University Library. (2023). Literature searching explained. Available at: (Accessed: 28.02.2023)