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Spark 1 (Torres)

Flesh & Bone: Forensic Science

Generating Keywords

Sample: researching the forensic subspecialty of "forensic entomology"

Questions Keywords added to "forensic entomology"
1. How would you define and describe this field?  Has the role of forensic scientists in this field changed?

history, overview, trends, field

2. What materials and methods are employed in this field? What training is needed for practitioners in the field?

material, methods, techniques, "research methods"

3. What kinds of questions do these scientists ask and how do they answer them?

establish, identify, interpret, analyze (may have to read for more specifics e.g. "time of death")
4. Are there real-life forensic cases you can identify where this subspeciality has been applied (or could be applied)? case, forensic case, methods [See #2.]

5. How does this field in the forensic sciences intersect with other scientific disciplines or disciplines? (entomology, anthropology)

revisit previous information you've located and look for mentions of other fields

Search Strategies

Databases often respond better with some of these search strategies: phrase searching; AND/OR. 

Google will pay attention to OR and to "quotation marks".  However, keywords in Google are often sufficient.

Search in Databases

Search for a phrase with "quotation marks".

"forensic psychology"


Join different terms with AND.

entymology AND training


Join similar / related terms with OR.

(history OR background) AND "forensic toxicology"


Search in Google

Search for a phrase with "quotation marks".

"forensic psychology"


Add different terms. Google ignores AND.

entymology training


Join similar / related terms with OR.

history OR background "forensic toxicology"



Simple Google Search Tips



  1. start simple; use descriptive words
  2. be specific in your word choice
  3. don't worry about capitalization, spelling, and punctuation

How Should I Search in a Database?

Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU), Ronald Williams Library, 1:27

When you search in a database, it's a good idea to use keywords and Boolean Operators (AND, OR, & NOT).

  1. What do you enter into the library database search box to start looking for information?
  2. What are some ways you can limit your results?
  3. How do you break down your research question?
  4. What Boolean operator narrows your search?
  5. What Boolean operator expands your search?