Keywords help you unlock the information you are looking for by tapping into the database record so the info can be retrieved.
Often times the words are assigned by many different people; authors, editors, reviewers, and the database vendors all play a role in assigning the words to articles that help you retrieve them.
Keywords and the Research Question
All research starts with a question. To begin, you need to breakdown the question into keywords that will let you get the information you need to build a knowledge base of literature to answer the bigger question.
Question: Does alcohol provide health benefits if used in moderation?
- alchohol and health benefits
- drinking and health benefits
- alcohol and moderation
- alchohol and heart disease
- alchohol and liver disease
Notice the the keyword examples do 3 things,
- They let you focus on specific aspects for the issue
- They use variations of terms relating to your topic
- They relate the terms together so the database will retreive articles that give you information about how the terms are related in practice