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Literature search: Block search

Overall guide for literature search

The use of block search

You can organise your search terms into thematic groups (blocks), covering the various keywords or concepts of your topic. It will create an overview of potential search terms and combine them into an effective search query.

Method of block search

  1. Formulate a literature search question

  2. Identify the main keywords/concepts

  3. Define your blocks (main concepts)

  4. Collect search terms for each block

  5. Set up a search query or search query

Use the Block Search Builder to easily build a proper search query combining your main concepts, alternate search terms with the AND & OR-operator

Example: using the block search method

Question: what is the effect of gender quota on the firm performance of companies?

Keywords: gender quota, firm performance, companies

Search terms:

keyword / concept 1

keyword / concept 2

keyword / concept 3

gender quota

firm performance

company

OR

OR

OR

female quota

AND

profitability

AND

 firm

OR

OR

OR

women quota

growth

business

Search query:

(gender OR female OR women) AND quota*)) AND (performance* OR profitability OR growth) AND (compan* OR business* OR firm*)