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Library - Information Literacy Module: 6 SEARCH STRATEGIES

Information literacy for UJ students. Start with "1 Why Information Literacy" and end with "9 Writing & Referencing"

After viewing this page, you have to work through the tutorials, beginning with Tutorial 1.


6 hours (360 minutes)

Search Techniques

A to Z Journal Search

STEP 1: Searching for information

Image courtesy of Google User

Neo suffers from information overload. He searched the Internet for information on a topic, but after hours of searching and not finding the right kind of information for his assignment topic, he gave up hope. In the age of information overload and technology advancements, learning how to effectively search for information and knowing what to do with the information is a crucial skill to master. Applying proper search strategies will not only help Neo to find the best information, but also saves him time. 

At the end of this Unit, Neo should be able to:

  • conduct basic search strategies 
  • conduct online searching techniques
  • apply best practices in the use of full-text electronic journals 
  • do general database searching 

STEP 2: Search strategies

Search strategies are ways of using search terms in finding required information from search tools, such as search engines (Google), the library catalogue and online databases. 

To achieve good search results, it is necessary to use search strategies.
The following are some of the most common search strategies that are applicable to various searching tools.
• Boolean Logic
• Parenthesis
• Phrase searching
• Truncation
• Wildcards
• Field searching