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GEOL 3910: Research Methods II (Brame): Search Tips

Research Strategy

1.  Choose the right database.  This should be easy with the great assortment we offer.

2.  Construct a great keyword search.  It probably won't be the first one you try.

3.  Analyze your results.  Use facets to narrow your results, and additional keywords to modify your search.

3.  Leverage every great article into more.  Follow references and citations to get other relevant articles.

4.  Keep your articles organized with RefWorks.

Plan B

How is Information Like Cake?

Cake metaphor image to demonstrate data, information, presentation & knowledge

Keyword Search Tips

Keyword searching (generally) works best for finding articles on a topic

If you get too many results, try limiting to a particular subject - usually there is a list of subject links on one side of the screen. 

    The same tricks to help you find books in the catalog, will help you find articles

      • connect synonyms with the word or to get more results

         (co-digestion  or codigestion)

        • combine keywords or phrases with the word and to help limit and focus your results:

         leachate and recirculation

        • put quotes around phrases "methane yield"
        • truncate terms to get all possible endings

        produc*  (finds produce, produces, product, production, etc.)

        Put it all together:

        (co-digestion or codigestion) and produc* and biogas and "methane yield"

        • if your first search isn't great, revise it until you get what you want!