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Creating a Manufacturing & Automation Relative Merits Report: Search Strategies

This guide will provide links and information centered on the field of manufacturing and automation, which have been organized to help you plan, research, and write your report.

General Search Strategies

Use the following methods to build your search strategy.  Once you have formed your search strategy, you can begin finding resources.


Identify the Products or Services to Compare

Begin by identifying the products or services that you wish to compare.  If you do not have a specific product or service already in mind, you can begin with a general search using topic keywords and general search keywords to find relevant products in the field.  In addition, you may also include an manufacturer if you want to narrow your search to a particular company.

Example general search keywords:

Product guides ; Equipment and supplies ; Tools ; Models ; Products

Example topic keywords:

Welding ; Machinist ; CNC ; Welder ; 3D printers

Example manufacturers:

Lincoln ; Miller ; Stratasys ; XYZ

Example searches:

("Welding") AND ("Product guides" OR "Products" OR "Equipment and supplies")

("CNC") AND ("Product guides" OR "Models")

("Machinist") AND ("Tools" OR "Equipment and supplies")

("Stratasys") AND ("3D printers")

("Lincoln") AND ("Welding machine" OR "Welder")


Search for Each Product or Service

Once you have identified the products or services you want to compare, begin by searching for each product or service seperately.  If you want to specify a particular brand or type to include or exclude in your search, you can also do this using boolean operators.

Example product or service keywords:

Alloy steel ; Carbon steel ; Thread milling ; Tapping ; Miller ; Lincoln

Example additional search terms:

Reviews ; Specifications 

Example searches:

("Thread milling") AND ("Process") AND ("CNC")

("Fireball") AND ("V90") NOT ("X90")

("XYZ") AND ("Da vinci")


Search for a Specific Aspect of Each Product or Service

If you are looking for a specific aspect of the product or service to compare, you can narrow your search by adding aspect-related keywords and boolean operators in order to refine your results.

Example aspect-related keywords:

Cost ; Reliability ; Maintenance cost ; Availability ; Corrosion resistance

Example search:

("Titanium alloy") AND ("Corrosion resistance")

("Miller") AND ("Welder" OR "Welding machine") AND ("Reliability")

("Stratasys") AND ("Mojo") AND ("Resolution")


Search for Comparisons That Have Already Been Made

In some cases, you may wish to search for comparisons which have already been written about the products and services you are researching.  To do this, you can add additional comparison-related keywords and boolean operators to your search to include product comparisons and evaluations.

Example comparison-related keywords:

Purchase ; Select ; Compare ; Contrast

Example searches:

("Air brakes") AND ("Vacuum brakes") AND ("Compare" OR "Contrast")

("Alloy steel") ("Carbon steel") AND ("Purchase" OR "Select")

Subject Guide

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Jessica Norman
Reg Erhardt Library
MC113, Stan Grad Centre
ph: 403-210-4073
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