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FYS - Breaking News! or Breaking Down? - Prof. Krain, Fall, 2023 by Mark Gooch: Research Basics

Research Basics

There are many aspects to conducting research including:

  1. Search strategies
  2. Identifying the tools for your research
  3. Obtaining copies of the items you identify during your research
  4. Properly citing your research

This guide will provide you with the resources to conduct your research not only for this class but for others as well.

Some Search Strategies

When searching for articles, books, etc. there are several techniques you can use to make your searching more effective:

  • Develop a list of terms to try in each database until you determine the correct terms for each database.
  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to help limit or broaden your search.
    • AND requires that both terms be present in each result
    • OR requires at least one but not necessarily both terms be present in each result
    • NOT can be used to eliminate results with a particular term present
  • How do you search phrases in a database? Does it require quotes?  Check the Help to find out.
  • Truncation can be used to find varying word endings in one search.  Usually you will use an asterisk (*).
  • Can you limit your results by language (e.g. English)?  Is this appropriate?
  • Can you limit your results by type of material (e.g. peer-reviewed or scholarly article)?
  • Can you limit your results by date and is it appropriate?
  • Click on relevant subjects to expand your search query.
  • Perform an Advanced Search in CONSORT for the terms "encyclopedia" or "guide" along with some general key terms for your subject and limit the search to WOO Reference.  This will help identify any encyclopedias or guides to your subject which could help provide an overview of the topic and possibly some resources.
  • Look at footnotes and bibliographies of items you already have.