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Research skills

Basics of searching

The Basics of Searching

  • Search by topic/keywords For example: cultural heritage tourism
  • Search by subjects For example: urban agriculture
  • Search by key concepts For example: PESTLE analysis

It is important to find and access high quality information for your assignments. You can start with what your teacher provides you with such as:

  • Class notes, course readings
  • Reading lists and/or recommended readings
  • Textbooks

There are more ways to find more resources for your assessments:

Searching for resources

Searching the databases

Some useful tips and search terms that can help you build or refine a search

  • All keywords must be included in results.        

           For example:

tourism AND hospitality    


  • Either keyword or both are included in results.

           For example: 

benefits OR advantages

  • Include one keyword but not the other in results.

           For example: 

tourism NOT travel

Quotation marks or Phrase searching
  • Keywords to be searched as a phrase in between the quotation marks "     "

           For example: 

"dark tourism"


To make even better use of Boolean operators

  • use parentheses  (  ) to nest query terms within other query terms.
  • Information within parentheses is read first, then information outside parentheses is read next.

For example:

(cultural OR heritage) AND tourism

Truncation - Austral*

Truncation symbol *

          For example:

Austral* will search for Australia,  Australian, Australasia

Wildcard - organi?tion           

Wildcard symbol ?

          For example:

organi?ation will search for organisation,  organization

Using database thesaurus

  • Similar words, alternative words.

For example:

cuisine , cooking , culinary

  • Words that mean the same things or closely associated to the keywords.

For example:

climate change  or global warming


Using limiters in the databases


  • Date range -  e.g 2010-2020 or 2020 - 2023
  • Full-text only - to retrieve full-text articles instead of abstracts.
  • Peer-review - articles have been reviewed/edited by academics who are experts in their fields.


Known article title

Author's name and title keywords

          For example:

Barney, J. B. AND management theory AND measuring                                                                                                                

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