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Looking for information, but found nothing? Or, on the contrary, got too many results back, so that you have to filter the relevant information yourself? In this article, we give some tips and tricks to effectively use the search engine.

There are several ways to search for information. We differentiate between three strategies:

  • Top-down. In this strategy, you start with a general concept or topic and then you narrow the search until the right information is found. This strategy works best if you are interested in general information about a topic, or if you do not exactly know at the beginning what you are looking for. For example, you start your search with risk analysis.
  • Bottom-up. Here, you begin with a query that is formulated as detailed as possible. When the query does not lead to the desired result, you can broaden the search terms. Use this strategy when you are looking for specific information about a certain topic. Example: you begin with the search terms position paper iia resourcing alternatives internal audit.
  • The golden mean. This strategy starts with two terms, and on the basis of the first results, you decide whether to narrow or to broaden the search. E.g. you start with the terms IFRS pension.

Before we discuss the several search methods, we will give some tips about the use of punctuation marks. A space is used to separate different search terms or commands. Other punctuation marks, like the minus sign, the colon and the quotation mark, follow directly before or after the search term or command.