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Public Health Sciences

Plan your search

  1. Select a topic
  2. Do a quick keyword search - is there research on this topic? If YES, continue. If NO, revise topic.
  3. Write out a research question for your topic
  4. Identify key concepts in your research question
  5. Identify the databases you will need to search, depending on your topic
  6. Use your key concepts to write a search strategy, adding alternative terms and phrasing
  7. Combine these terms using boolean operators and truncation characters, crafting a strategy that you can use in multiple databases
  8. Search the databases you identified, revising your search as needed
  9. Click the "Find Full Text @ Clemson Libraries" link to quickly access the full text or order articles from Resource Sharing
  10. Contact your subject librarian if you need any help!

Search functionality tips

Use Boolean operators and truncation characters to broaden and narrow your searches.

  • AND, OR, NOT
    • connect your search strings, as defined in parentheses
    • ((Child OR Kid OR Pediatric) NOT (teen OR adolescent)) AND (prostheses OR prosthetic)
  • *
    • a wildcard that will fill in the characters following the asterisk
    • Child* = child, child’s, children, children’s, etc.
  • " "
    • quotation marks can be used to search for a specific phrase
    • “3-d printing” will search only for the phrase 3-d printing, while searching without the quotation marks will return any results mentioning 3-d or printing separately


Sample search strategy

RQ= How are advances in technology impacting how lower limb prosthetics are designed for children?

Search Row Concept Synonyms Combined
1 children Child*, kid*, pediatric*, paediatric* Child* OR kid* OR pediatric* OR paediatric*
2 lower limb "lower limb", "lower extremity", foot, feet, ankle*, leg* "lower limb" OR "lower extremity" OR foot OR feet OR ankle*OR leg*
3 prosthetic design

prosthetic*, prosthesis, "artificial limb"

design, development, innovation

(prosthetic* OR prosthesis OR "artificial limb") AND (design OR development OR innovation)
4 technology technolog*, digital, computer, software technolog* OR digital OR computer OR software

Search strategy:

(Child* OR kid* OR pediatric* OR paediatric*) AND ("lower limb" OR "lower extremity" OR foot OR feet OR ankle*OR leg*) AND ((prosthetic* OR prosthesis OR "artificial limb") AND (design OR development OR innovation)) AND (technolog* OR digital OR computer OR software)