You do not have to have a clear and concise research question to get started searching for information. However, you need to have some kind of idea of what you want to explore and start from those concepts.
Let's say you are interested in surveillance cameras and their effects on citizens perceptions of safety. What are the most important aspects or key terms? Work with these initially. Take some time to work on synonyms and related words. While you are searching, you will revise your keywords throughout the search process.
In order to search effectively and find relevant hits, it is important to understand how the databases interpret your keywords and how you can combine them.
When finding an interesting article you might want to try the strategies below in order to identify other search terms and related research articles.
Check how the database has tagged an interesting article with subject terms and author keywords. Are there terms that you have not tried yet? You might find terms that better describe different aspects of your topic. Search further within your topic with these terms to find even more relevant articles.
Check the reference lists of relevant sources to see which works they have cited. This is a good way of find earlier research about your topic.
You can also check if your chosen source have been cited by someone else. This works best for articles that are a few years old, as they are more likely to have been cited than brand new sources. In Google Scholar, Search for the title and click "Cited by..." to find other works citing your chosen source.
Documenting your search process helps you remember which search terms you have already tried, but didn't use, so you won't repeat the same search. Useful information is:
Click "Create My Research Account" and then complete the registration. The database account is free of charge.
Check the box to the left of each reference. Then click on the dots to the right of each reference, you can choose several references at the same time. Choose "Save to my research account".
You can also mail the article, click the envelope in the same menu.