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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 technology  research  practice

A Research Tip

  • Research & Writing

Today’s tip: Know what you are looking for…use a dictionary.

I didn’t take biology in high school. The thought of having to disect something just wasn’t my cup of tea. I regret that decision sometimes, usually when someone sends me a request to quantify an injury to a body part that I have never heard of.

I once was asked to get a rush quantum for a musculo-ligamentous strain of the neck. Foolishly, and because the requestor gave me the confirmed spelling, I plugged the phrase into a paid legal search tool. I got an answer, but probably not the best answer. The above injury is also frequently called a whiplash injury … a phrase when entered into the same paid legal search tool, generated more and better results. A good, if embarassing, lesson.

Make sure you know what you are looking for.

Some dictionary links:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus
Duhaime’s Legal Dictionary
from MedlinePlus

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