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SES 6344 (Fiaud): Sports and Exercise Biomechanics

Brainstorm Search Terms and Keywords

Brainstorm search terms by:

  • Considering the who, what, where, when, why of your research questions
  • Searching reference sources
  • Exploring a database's thesaurus
  • Brainstorming keywords with your instructor, a librarian, or your friend


Booleans describe a logical relationship between search terms.


cat AND dog

  • Narrows your search
  • Both words must be present

SES Example

ACL AND therapy


cat OR dog

  • Expands your search
  • Either term may be present

SES Example

ACL OR anterior cruciate ligament


cat NOT dog

  • Refines your search
  • Excludes the second word from your results

SES Example

therapy NOT acupuncture



Limit your results by:

  • Require the item to be full-text or not.
  • If you have time, do not require full-text as we can obtain information you need through a Interlibrary Loan Request.
Resource Type
  • Restrict to journals, books, etc.
  • You can limit your results to the most recent research. Medical information should be time-restricted. Generally, limiting to the last 5 years will help you find the most current research.
  • Search terms may find information through various subjects. Consider limiting your results to your specific subject.
  • Narrow your results by limiting them to only languages you can read.

And many more...

Revise Your Topic

Finding too much information?

Your topic may be too broad. Narrow it by:

  • Time period
  • Geography
  • Population
  • Aspect (a particular genre or event)
  • Period/Style

Not finding enough information?

Your topic may be too narrow. Broaden it by:

  • Related issues
  • Expand the time period, geographic location, or population