Western Libraries

Computer Science 4490z Library Support

Designing Search Strategies

  • Select keywords from your research topic
  • Find synonyms or related terms for each of the keyword you identified above
  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR) to connect your keyword; Combine concepts using AND, and combine alternate terms within a concept using OR
  • Select search tools (library catalogue, databases, etc.)
  • Conduct your search
  • Review your search results and revise your search if necessary

You can use the Search Strategy Worksheet below to help you develop your search strategies.

Literature Review

  • Literature Review tutorial
  • Analyze and critically evaluate past research
  • Organize the content by theme not by article/book
  • Be selective (5-10 articles)
  • Cite properly to avoid plagiarism

Finding background information for your thesis project

If you are new to your topic or would like to start by reading some more general background information, here are some good places to start:


Find trade publication articles using:

Note: On the ProQuest search interface, you can search both databases at the same time by clicking on "Select multiple databases" on the upper left.

Find scholarly journal articles using:

Use Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to find out if journal is peer-reviewed