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Analytical Chemistry 2

Strategies & tips for locating resources for your research project.

What is a search strategy?

Developing a strong search strategy can save you time when it is time to search for resources.  Rather than doing general searching using Google, we recommend that you search using the library databases.  Searching Google is much different than searching library databases.

One facet of database searching that can be difficult to get used to is subject heading or keyword searches.  Rather than typing a question in and expecting instant results, users need to focus on identifying and using controlled language searches.

Identifying controlled language for subject headings and keywords is beneficial for the savvy researcher.  Controlled language is typically assigned by the Library of Congress and is then used universally (or at least in English) by vendors and publishers when identifying main points and ideas for their books, journals and other publications.

Once the controlled language for your topic is identified, database searching is usually much easier. 

Language used on websites by various entities can often be arbitrary and inconsistent.


You should find results for all of the instruments in the journal article databases and book  catalogs.

If the instrument you are looking for is often referred to by an acronym, you may want to try it with the acronym and the 'official' name.  For instance try typing: MALDI OR MATRIX-ASSISTED LASER DESORPTION-INONIZATION in the search blank.  It will search for both variations if you include OR.

Techniques, applications, methods are going to work great to limit results and you should have lots of results to browse.  If you're looking for a specific lab or researcher, chemical, etc., be sure to include that in your search!