Skip to Main Content

Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation: Plan your Search

These guides provide an introduction to key resources available for Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation.

Why plan your search?


At university you are expected to find and a higher standard of information - what we call scholarly information:

  • in your assignments
  • to prepare for class
  • to explore new theories and ideas

However, to find scholarly information you need to search in a particular way to get good results.

Use this page to learn how to plan your search and find the best scholarly information sources to use.

Step 1: Getting started


Your first step before you find any information is figuring out what your assignment is asking you and what your topic is about. 

The following video shows you how to break down your assessment and get started brainstorming keywords you can use. 

Step 2: Identify key concepts


Identify Key Concepts

The next step is to identify your key concepts- the most important parts of your assignment question. These key concepts will form the basis of your search.

For example:

What are the effects of heat on athletes during endurance sport?

The key concepts are: 

Heat Athletes Endurance Sport

Step 3: Keywords & synonyms


Keywords & Synonyms

As with everyday speech, researchers will often refer to the same concept using different terms, and there may be more specific terms for your concepts. For example, a broken bone might also be called a fracture, and more specifically could be called a spiral, torsion, or compound fracture.

Keep track of any terms you can think of for your search.


Heat Athletes Endurance Sport

high temperature

warm climate




endurance exercise



To find keywords and synonyms, here are some good resources to help with brainstorming: 

  • Google & Wikipedia
  • Dictionaries & Thesauri
  • Reference Books & Encyclopedias

Step 4: Searching


Once you have completed these steps and are ready to search, you can begin to search in databases. For a list of key resources for Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, see our page of key resources

Using Boolean Operators

Boolean Operators are a way of telling a database or search engine how to do your search. Watch the video to learn how.

Use Boolean Operators to combine your keywords & synonyms into a search. You can build multiple searches using different synonyms & keywords.


(heat OR "high temperature" OR "warm climate") AND (athlete OR sportsperson OR sportsman OR sportswoman) AND ("endurance sport" OR "endurance exercise")


Example: Searching in SPORTDiscus


SPORTDiscus is an international sport and leisure database, and is one of the key databases for the Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation discipline.


The following video is a demonstration of finding information with SPORTDiscus by applying some of the key skills outlined above.

Example: Searching in Medline (OVID)


Medline (OVID) is managed by the National Library of Medicine and is one of the largest biomedical databases in the world.


The following video is a demonstration of finding information with Medline (OVID) by applying some of the key skills outlined above.

Step 5: Evaluating information


Review your results

Not all the information you get from a search will be useful. A successful search will show results relevant to your topic. If your results are not relevant go back and try different keywords in your search.

Even if your information is relevant, it might not be good quality. Check if it passes the C.R.A.P. Test before you use it.