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Research Tips & Techniques Guide

Strategies to increase efficiency in research

Using synonyms leaves no stone unturned

Synonyms and Alternate Terms in CINAHL

  • CINAHL suggests alternate terms below the search boxes
Autocomplete in Proquest Central
  • starting typing and suggestions will appear below
How to find synonyms
  • brainstorm related or umbrella terms
  • keywords from the textbook, syllabus, lecture notes
  • research in reference sources, such as dictionaries or encyclopedias
  • read a basic article for searchable keywords
  • consult a thesaurus 
Acronyms are a type of synonym
  • IT OR “Information Technology”
  • HR OR "Human Resources" 
  • watch out for acronyms that have more than one meaning eg. ANA = "anti-nuclear antibody pattern", Afghan National Army, American Nurses Association
Linking Synonyms
  • "global warming” OR "climate change” will retrieve either phrase
  • "global warming" AND "climate change" will retrieve ONLY content with both phrases


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