Choosing search terms

Article Record Small
An example of an article record

Library databases generally don't lend themselves to phrase searching, unlike web search engines. When you search a library database, you search through specific fields in the record of an article: title, author, publication name, abstract, etc. If your exact phrase isn't in one of those fields, you won't get any results from your search.

To get results, choose key words ("avian influenza" and "transmission") rather than searching with entire phrases ("how does bird flu spread?").

How can I find good search terms?

In order to find good search terms and keywords, look at your thesis statement, or the claim you are making and arguing in your paper.