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
Lincoln ; Miller ; Stratasys ; XYZ
("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
("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
("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
("Air brakes") AND ("Vacuum brakes") AND ("Compare" OR "Contrast")
("Alloy steel") ("Carbon steel") AND ("Purchase" OR "Select")