If you are not familiar with searching journal databases, now is good time to start! These databases contain references and abstracts of journal articles and other relevant resources and they are the best way of finding literature on your subject.
The Library web page has a tab for Article Search which searches across all the full text journals which the Library subscribes to. You can search with keywords and then apply criteria to focus your results. This is a quick way to find good quality peer reviewed articles in full text.
The Library also provides access to a wide range of subject specific databases. You will find the relevant databases in the Subject Guide for your discipline.
Natural and academic language
Use a mixture of natural and academic language as these will appear in the title and abstracts of papers. For example, teenager has a lot of synonyms so a variety of alternative words can be used including teen, young person, young adult, adolescents, adolescence etc.
Subject headings are umbrella terms used by some databases to describe content or information. Articles are assigned a number of subject headings by indexers on behalf of the databases. It is a great method of searching for relevant literature related to your topic.
Most databases use double quotation marks (“…”) to search for phrases. This is useful when you want to find results where the words appear together to make up a phrase, for example, "cognitive behavioural therapy" or “heart attack”.
Many databases use the asterisk (*) as a truncation command. When used at the end of a keyword, it will instruct the database to search the root of the word and retrieve results with various endings, for example, disease* will find disease, diseases and diseased. Using truncation can be useful when searching for plurals.
Databases can use different syntax so it’s worth checking the Help menu of each resource. You can also ask your subject librarian for help with this.