Effective search strategies can shorten your research time significantly. Here are some tips from the pros:
Use quotation marks around a phrase to inform the search engine to look for exactly the phrase you enter-- for example "alternative medicine" or "clinical trial".
When searching for a keyword with multiple variations (ex. "teen", "teenager", "teenagers") use the root form of the word and add an asterisk (*). This means using teen* will retrieve items that have all variations of this word.
Be specific: use targeted key words and phrases and try different variations of keywords.
Use the built-in database filters to focus your results! Most interfaces let you limit by publication date, subject, format and more . . .
Before getting started with research, it is a good idea to start with some background and context to the issues you are investigating. The sources below will help you get to that information quickly AND they can help you focus your research topic!