4. Conduct your search

Conduct your search

It's time to conduct your search! You know what question you want to answer, you have thought of search terms that are fitting for the question, and you know in what type of information source you want to search.

What information do you need to find?

  • Theoretical information ((e-)books)
  • Analysis of a product/topic/country (statistics)
  • Scientific articles (e-journals, full text articles)
  • Company profiles (company and market information)
  • Trends (e-journals, magazines and newspapers)

Smart search

4.1 Where do I find the right information sources?

Hanze Library Guides

Which information source is the most relevant for you, depends on the type of information you want to find, Sometimes a book fits better than an article. Through the Library website you can find many information sources and make your choice. The best way to get to the most relevant resources is by using the Hanze Library Guide of your programme. 

A Library Guide contains the information and sources that are helpful for finding articles about your topic. You'll find links to databases, minilectures, and contact information as well. 

Click on the link below to go to the overview of Library Guides and check out the one for your programme!


Contact your information specialist

Everybody could use a little
extra help sometimes.

If you have any questions about our collection and/or how to use it, please contact your information specialist.

4.3 How do I increase/decrease the number of results?

Increase or decrease the number of search results.

Nobody has the time to scan hundreds or thousands of search results on relevance. Therefore it is important to be able to decrease the number of search results without throwing relevant literature out of the results.

Tip! What to do when you have too many results:

  • Use Advanced search instead of the basic search bar, to be able to use more filters
  • Use the Boolean operator AND and think critically before adding the OR operator (which broadens your search). 
  • Limit the search results by specifying you want to find the term in the Title field of articles, instead of searching in all the available fields of articles. 
  • Limit the search to recent publication by filtering on publication date (for instance published in the last 5 year).


It's frustrating to not find many or any search results. Keep in mind that you might not have the most relevant database for your topic. 

Tip! What to do if you don't find (enough) search results)

  • Use Advanced search instead of the Basic search bar.
  • Search in all available search fields (don't specify the search term to be in the Title of an article) 
  • Search, if possible through the full text version of articles.
  • Use synonyms, translations, plural forms, and combine these with the OR operator.
  • Use Related and Broader Terms and combine these with the OR operator.

Tool for literature research

An important tool for desk-research is the information logbook, in which you write down the progress of your search.

  • collecting: in the logbook you write down your search terms, new terms you come across during searching, databases you are using, filters you're applying, etc. 
  • sorting: you can use you logbook to note the literature you found and write down in what part of your assignment you want to use the information
  • evaluating: during searching, you often make choices. Thanks to your logbook, you can reflect during and after your search on these choices and adjust them if necessary.

A logbook prevents you doing searches twice and gives you insight in the search process.

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