Skip to main content

Formulate an Effective Search Strategy: Introduction

Tips and techniques on how to plan and develop an effective search strategy



After reading through this library guide you will be able to formulate an effective database search strategy that will assist you to:

  • know how to search for information in the right way
  • ensure that you find relevant information
  • exclude irrelevant information



Search engines, such as Google, search the World Wide Web for information. Most scholarly information is NOT freely available on the Web, and even Google Scholar does not provide free access to all the articles it finds.

Therefore, in order to find reliable scholarly material, you must use the Library’s databases.  To effectively search for information on a library database, you need to use a search strategy.

People like Google for its straightforward search box and find the more complex search options of library databases off-putting. Google is a good place to start your research, but your research will not be complete if you use only Google.