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Too few results

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As you evaluate the results of each search, you will know whether or not you need to revise your search statement.

If you got too few results (less than 10)

Do you need additional relevant material? If the answer is yes, then:

In databases
  • Look at the subject headings (descriptors, identifiers) for the most relevant items you have found. Try using the most relevant of these new terms in your search statement.
  • Look at your search statement. Try
    • using an alternative term from your primary concept list.
    • using an alternative term from your secondary concept list.
    • eliminating the least important secondary concept term.
In print access tools
  • Look for cross-references to more appropriate terms.
  • Try alternative terms from your primary concept category.
  • Try a broader term.
Look at your access tool
  • Is it the best choice for your project.
  • Does it cover the date range of the information you need.
  • Try a different access tool from your list of possible access tools.
  • ASK A LIBRARIAN which access tool you should use.
    too few search results: process