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Systematic searching: 2. Identifying key concepts

Identifying key concepts

The research question or questions you formulate are not directly suitable to use as search terms. Key concepts should be identified for the search. Concepts should be considered as separate topics or groups of concepts.

Your research question will determine how many concept groups you need. Sometimes you can get good results with just one concept (a rare term), typically a search includes two or three concepts. 

Example

Nursing students' hand hygiene skills 

Research question: Which factors contribute to nursing students' hand hygiene skills during their studies?

Concept 1 Concept 2 Concept 3
student nurses hand hygiene  skills

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