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Guide to Searching

Tracking Your Searches

Consider creating a Search Log to keep track your searches through the databases. Logging your searches helps you to avoid unnecessary repetition in your searching and will save you valuable research time. It could be in an Excel or a Word format - which ever works best for you. 

Some categories you may want to include in your search log:

  • Search notes: Optional; Used to identify issues that you want to remember
  • Database: Note the search engine (e.g., Google Scholar) or database (e.g., PsycInfo)  in which you do the search
  • Search Strategy: Note your search strategy (so you can rerun the search if you need to)
  • # of Results: Optional for general searching
  • Notes/Thoughts: Optional; Could be on the search strategy or about the results
  • # Articles Selected: How many articles did you select to read and review?
  • Articles Selected: Note the articles you found (either with a short title or by the full citation)

Here are some example search logs you can download to track your searches: