1. Module: The basics of information retrieval

In this module you will

  • analyze the research topic for the purposes of information search
  • select the valid search terms of proper format
  • combine terms for queries
  • apply queries to user interfaces of databases

To complete this module

  1. Read all the study material, and watch all the linked and embedded videos.
  2. Answer the quiz in Moodle (link opens in a new tab).

NB: This module is 100% self-studying.


There are some basic elements that are used while searching information from publication databases. Conceptualizing the search topic is an elementary skill for all information searching. The database functionalities and general principles of search technique, like truncation, phrase searching and using Boolean operators are in principle the same for every search system. In this module, these generic rules are explained. However, their implementation to various databases in not covered.

To learn more about applying search technique in specific databases and their special attributes and tools, please select the Module 2 Discipline-specific information retrieval.

Contents of this module

Defining the search topic
Search terms
Search techniques
Basics of using databases
Modifying & saving searches

(8/2023 RH)

Next page: Defining the search topic >

Course info