Who is this tutorial for?

This tutorial is designed to help anyone looking for information online to develop skills in defining a search strategy and conducting searches efficiently. It is suitable for policy makers and practitioners as well as academics and students. In fact, it is open to anyone handling information and evidence.

There is no cost to participate in this tutorial. It is offered as an open educational resource by INASP.

What did previous participants say about the content in this tutorial?
  • "The materials provided in the tutorial readings were enough to help be understand, build my knowledge and skills and also under the quiz with minimum struggles. I didn't have to go looking for reading materials to understand any complex words or literature. The explanations and examples were apt and easy to comprehend."
  • "I really appreciate that there is such kind of course which is more beneficial than just watching tutorial videos. It can directly be applicable in my context so I have shared the information to my colleagues."
  • "I had already taken another training on search strategies, but I was not using the tips taught there. Somehow I wasn't able to gain confidence from those training. But this helped me a lot. I will now confidently use the various search strategies."
  • "Thank you so much for making this tutorial free; I am going to prescribe it for all my research students."
What will you learn?

On completion of this tutorial, you will have developed or improved your skills in:

  • Clearly defining and describing your search topic
  • Identifying suitable search terms
  • Picking the best platform(s) on which to search
  • Using tools and techniques to refine and modify your search

You will be working on your own search topic and by the end of the tutorial you will have planned, conducted and, if necessary, revised your search.

Length of the tutorial

This is a self-study tutorial.  You can join any time and stay enrolled in the tutorial for as long as you would like. However, we recommend that you complete the tutorial within 4 weeks of joining.

Topics covered

The tutorial consists of three units, organized in the form of 'steps'.

  • Step 1: Planning your search
  • Step 2: Search tools
  • Step 3: Successful searching
Expected time commitment

To get maximum benefit from the tutorial, you should plan to spend about 4 to 6 hours on reading, reflecting and completing the steps (or units) in this tutorial, including the final quiz. We suggest that you go through the steps sequentially, as each step builds upon the previous one.

Learning resources and activities

Guided readings with embedded questions and reflective activities; quizzes to check your understanding

Completion criteria
  1. Going through all the guided readings;
  2. Passing the three quizzes; and
  3. Completing the feedback survey.

A certificate will be generated automatically for you once you have met the completion criteria. You can download this certificate from the tutorial homepage.

Connectivity required

We recommend that you access the tutorial on a reasonably fast internet connection so that you can watch the videos embedded in the content. However, you can complete the tutorial without necessarily watching the videos.


This is a self-study, self-paced tutorial, so there are no deadlines.

Technical support

We are unable to offer technical support for this tutorial. All the information you need to complete the tutorial successfully can be found in the introductory resource at the start of the tutorial.

Is the tutorial compatible with mobile devices?

From a technical point of view, you may use a web browser on your mobile phone or tablet to access INASP Moodle. This website is responsive and it will automatically resize to fit the dimensions of your screen. However, we strongly recommend that you use a computer instead of a mobile device to study on this tutorial, as there are several activities for which a computer would be most suitable.

Is there any advice on how to learn online?

This PDF document may be useful to help you prepare to learn online. It also contains answers to frequently asked questions.

Can the learning resources be reused or adapted?

Yes. The learning resources have been developed by INASP and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

**You can enrolment in this tutorial anytime.**

You should first be logged in to this site. Create an account for yourself on this site (if you don't have one) or log in with your existing account. Click the 'Log in' link on the top right hand corner to proceed.

After you've logged in with your account, head to the course enrolment page, in case you're not on that page already. You may want to bookmark the course enrolment page in your browser to get to it easily. You will see a button called 'Enrol me'. Click this button to enrol in the tutorial.