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Kinesiology: Home

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Getting Started

The building block of a library database search is keywords. Keywords are central ideas or terms within your research question or problem. 

Once you have your keywords identified (2-3 is a good place to begin), you then need to connect them together in a way the database understands how to search. This is done using the Boolean search operators AND, OR, and NOT. Connecting keywords using these search operators creates a search string. 

  • AND - narrow search, used to combine terms together and focus search results
  • OR - broad search, used to includes results that contain similar or like words, such as synonyms
  • NOT - narrow search by exclusion, used to exclude results containing a particular keyword

We call the written version of your keywords with boolean search operators the search string. Writing your search string at the beginning of your research process will help you better approach searching in library databases.

Example search string
exercise OR physical activity AND high blood pressure OR hypertension AND treatment

Types of Journal Articles

Watch the video to learn more about review articles v primary research articles, how to tell the difference between the two, and why each is useful for research.

How to Identify a Primary Research Article

Primary Research: The authors of the article conducted their own original research with the goal of adding new information, Has a specific structure: introduction,  methods, results,  discussion, conclusion, references. Uses first and second person like "We discovered" or "I found"  Refers primarily to "this study." Reviews: The authors synthesize and analyze known research on a particular topic to discover trends. Its structure can be changed depending on the topic studied. Uses third person like "they discovered" or "Choi and Wilson concluded"  Refers to multiple studies