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How to Conduct a Search

Looking for a particular book, journal or other publication?

The printed collections of Helsinki University Library are located in several library locations. Search our collections.

Looking for information about a particular subject matter?


On what topic, from what point of view and in what language are you seeking information

  • Keywords, their synonyms and foreign equivalents
  • Use thesauri, e.g. YSA, and dictionaries, e.g. MOT *.
  • Think up keywords with the help of a mind map (see example)
  • For what purpose are you seeking information
  • Is one source that gives you the information enough
  • Are you seeking to map out publications about the subject comprehensively
  • In what type of publications is the information found (books, journals, studies, reference books etc.)
  • Choose the channels through which you can find publications that meet your needs
  • Do background research on the topic
  • Take into account the means of the information acquisition system that you use to define and expand your search (e.g. truncating keywords, combining keywords)


General information about search techniques can be found in the study material for the ICT Driver's Licence.

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