Your search for literature can be helped tremendously by a good search strategy.
As a general rule, it can make sense to start broad and narrow your search to become more and more specific.
You can use the following approaches:
Free-text searches / unsystematic searches ("quick-and-dirty")
- Often the first search on the internet or in encyclopedias. very broad with few, common keywords
- Provides a quick overview over related keywords (key concepts, terms, authors...) and subject databases for further research
- systematic probing of keywords in all relevant databases. Keywords e.g. found via free-text search (see above), include key concepts, terms, synonyms, alternative spelling, search keywords in other languages
- combination of keywords via "AND", "OR" and "NOT" to expand or refine searches
- filtering of search results, e.g. by time period, geography or source type (e.g. journal articles, newspaper entries...)
- repetition of searches to include the newest sources added to searched databases
Search by citation (Chain search)
- use one source's bibliography/list of references to find your next source
- bear in mind: the longer your search chain, the older the source at the end of the chain