This module covers the basics of searching for information, including choosing the right source, identifying keywords, and search techniques
To choose an appropriate database, ask yourself which disciplines are relevant to your topic. A paper about global warming, for example, may be relevant to a number of disciplines including environmental science, political science, and business. Once you decide which discipline(s) to focus on, select databases by subject from our A-Z List.
To find recommended databases to use as starting points by popular disciplines, visit the Research: Start page and select the appropriate subject/discipline on the list on the left.
Use the tools built-in to the databases and other resources to help guide you, such as subject headings, tags, related searches, etc.
It's an OpenURL link resolver. Basically, when you perform a search in one of the library databases, such as Gale's Academic OneFile, you will at times see a button/link labeled "Find It @FIU" next to each article citation, like this:
Clicking on this button will also provide you with any available full-text options for the article.
Combine your keywords/search terms with Boolean operators
Break your research topic into keywords.
Use parentheses with your terms and Boolean operators to create your search phrase
Look at links and/or icons for these functions:
You can use as many Boolean operators as you like in a search phrase, but include related concepts in parentheses to keep the phrase organized (this is called nesting). For example:
Dog OR Canine AND Bark NOT Tree: Messy
(Dog OR Canine) AND (Bark NOT Tree): Clear
For more information and practice exercises, see the Boolean searching guide by the Colorado State University Libraries.
from Westminster College