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Science Direct

Searching Science Direct

When searching Science Direct, you can use search techniques that are commonly used in other databases and search engines.

You need to type in the keywords or phrases of your research question. So, for example, if your question was...

How does footwear affect bowling in cricket? could try the key words/ phrases:


      AND   bowling

      AND   cricket

You then might like to think about synonyms (words with similar or the same meaning) so your search might become:

             footwear OR  boot OR shoe

    AND   bowling

    AND   cricket

(Place search terms with two or more words in quotation marks so that the database searches for a single phrase rather than separate keywords, eg. "bowling boots".)

The Advanced Search in Science Direct would look like this:


If your search terms have synonyms, put them in brackets to keep them together.

Here, you're asking the database to search for articles that contain one of footwear OR boot OR shoe AND the word cricket AND the word bowling. 

Once you click on the search button, you'll get some results and they be listed in order of relevance - i.e. the more your words or phrases appear in the article, the higher up they will be towards to the top of the list.

On the left-hand side, you can refine your results by changing the date of publication, the type of source you are looking for (eg. research articles), and subject area:




To read an abstract of an article (the article summary), click on Abstract under the title of the article.  This is all you need to read to determine if the article is going to be useful. If it is, then you can open the full text by downloading the PDF. 



If you still have lots of results and you want to get more relevant material, use the Advanced Search to search for your keywords or phrases in the abstract or title only. This will mean your words or phrases appear in the article summary or article title, therefore the focus of the paper is on your subject area: