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Researching for your literature review: 5. Activity: Keyword searching

Keyword searching in Scopus

1.  Login to Scopus at

Enter "healthcare worker*"  OR "health care worker*" OR  "health personnel"  OR  "healthcare professional*"  OR "health professional*" and click on the search icon. Note: You can specify which fields you wish to search for these terms

From the results page, click the Search link at the top left of the screen to return to the search box.

Enter communicat*  OR  "interpersonal communication"  OR  "communication skill*" and click on the search icon.

From the results page, click the Search link at the top left of the screen to return to the search box.

Enter "hearing disabilit*"  OR  "hearing impair*"  OR  deaf*  OR  "hard of hearing"  OR  "hearing loss" and click on the search icon.

2.  From the results page, click on the Search link at the top left of the screen to return to the main search page.

Scroll down to see the Search History box. The three search sets can now be combined using this Search History menu.

Enter the search set numbers into the Combine queries… box, with AND between each set, and then click the magnifying glass icon.       

3.  In the Refine results table on the side of the results, choose Language. Click the down arrow to expand the menu. Tick English, then the Limit to button.

limit to English

4.  Use the Sort on links to change the order of the results. Select the Relevance link.

sort by relevance

5.  Review your results and adjust your search if necessary.

You can test your initial search strategy in the following ways:

  • Does it retrieve relevant papers?

  • Does it retrieve the papers from your “sample set”?

  • If you retrieve too many results, try:
    -using more specific search terms
    -using limits
    -adding another term and combining with your previous result set using and

  • If you are not finding any or only a few results, try:
    -using more general search terms
    -removing limits eg. publication year
    -checking a known reference for alternative keywords

    -a different database

6. Locate full text using the Check for full text button

check for full text          

Click on the link in the Search catalogue to open the full text of the article.

full text link in the library Search catalogue

If full text is not available online, the following Search catalogue window will appear

full text not available

Click Search tips to try an alternative search for the full text of this article. If your search still does not match any resource in the library, sign in to place a document delivery request for this item.

What do we mean by keywords?

Keywords are simply relevant terms used to describe the content of the article.

A keyword search will generally search the title and abstract fields of the records in a database, and may also search other fields.

It is important to include alternative spellings and synonyms for your keywords to retrieve all articles on your topic.