Library Resources Tips
5.5 Tips for Searching Library Resources
- Use broader terms when searching for books (e.g. genetic engineering); use narrower terms for articles (e.g. genetically modified crops)
- Choose an appropriate search field (Subject, Abstract, Document Text, Author, etc.) for each search term. Choosing the wrong field may return irrelevant results or none at all.
- Use Advanced Search as it has better search capabilities to refine your search for more relevant results.
- Use advanced search techniques, such as Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), truncation (*), and phrase search (“ ”), etc. (See Chapter 7 for explanations on these techniques)
- Pick up new subject terms or keywords from the search results and use them for new searches.
- Each research database covers different areas; read the descriptions and choose one that is most related to your topic.
- When searching for articles, limit your search to only “Full-text” and “scholarly journal” if you need an expert article.
- When you find a good scholarly article that meets your needs, check the bibliographies listed under that article for related sources; some databases have a “Find Similar Articles” link that links you to more articles on that topic.
- Be flexible, try different databases and change your search strategy if you can’t find appropriate material for your topic.
- Don’t forget to use the embedded citation tools to get the citation of the article you plan on using.