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In general, when searching the library databases...
- A good way to start a search.
- The important concepts in your own words.
- Found anywhere in the article (title, author, subject terms, etc.).
Use Quotation Marks to Search for a Phrase...
- Searching for "Quality of life" will bring back only results that have the words in that exact order.
Connecting the concepts (keywords)...
- Link different parts of your topic with "AND" to get results that contain both terms.
- Join similar ideas or synonyms with "OR" to find results that contain either of the terms.
- Exclude concepts with "NOT"
Search for a root word...
- Add an * at the end of a word to search for all possible endings/suffixes
- teen* will search for teen, teens, teenager, teenagers
Limit to Peer-Reviewed, Refereed or Scholarly articles...
- Peer-review is part of the publication & editorial process for academic and research journals. Being peer-reviewed is a sign that a paper's author(s) have done a certain level of due diligence in their work and their research is complete, manages conflicts-of-interest, and is fair and objective.
Narrow the Date Range...
- When looking for current research limit your date range to the last 5-10 years.
Still not finding anything? Ask your Librarian!
How to Develop Keywords
When searching the library databases for articles, typing an entire sentence or question into the search field will not produce good results. Instead use keywords that describe your topic.
Identify the important nouns or main ideas in your research question. For example:
- Research Question: What effects does the spread of incorrect health information on social media have?
Generate synonyms for each main term, along with words that are narrower, broader, and related.
- Incorrect information: deceit, manipulation, lies, false, misinformation, fake news
- Social media: online, websites, internet, social networking
- Health: wellness, physical wellbeing, medical
Start searching in a database and connect your keywords with AND, OR, and, NOT as appropriate
- A search for this topic could look like:
- misinformation AND health AND social media
- incorrect information AND medical AND social networking websites
- (lies OR false information) AND health AND online
Pay attention to the results and modify your keywords as necessary.
- Titles and abstracts in the results may help you identify new keywords
- Keep in mind that keywords will evolve as you search. The more you search and learn about your topic, the easier it will be to develop keywords and search for more relevant articles.
How to Create Keywords Video Tutorials
Scholarly article databases
Race relations abstracts
Race Relations Abstracts includes bibliographic records selected from the most important sources within the discipline covering essential areas related to race relations, including ethnic studies, discrimination, immigration studies, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline. Dates of Coverage: 1975 current.
International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
The International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) is a database that includes over 3 million bibliographic references to journal articles, books, reviews, and selected chapters dating back to 1951. It provides broad coverage of international material and incorporates over 100 languages and countries. Subjects covered include anthropology, archaeology, cultural studies, demography, economics, education, ethnology and ethnography, political science, religious studies, and sociology.
AnthropologyPlus a comprehensive, focused index of bibliographic materials covering the fields of anthropology, archaeology and interdisciplinary studies. Anthropology Plus unites two premier indexes: Harvard Universitys Anthropological Literature database and the United Kingdoms Anthropological Index (Royal Anthropological Institute). This database offers indexing of periodicals and journals from the early 19th century to today, providing indexing of thousands of sources, including journal articles, reports, commentaries, edited works and obituaries.
Chicano Database is produced by the Ethnic Studies Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and is hosted on the familiar EBSCOhost platform. This bibliographic index covers a wide range of materials focused on the Mexican-American and Chicano experience, as well as the broader Latino experience of Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and Central American immigrants since 1992. Its content is designed to further research, teaching, and scholarship for Chicano studies programs and extended ethnic studies curricula, giving researchers targeted access to materials that explore the broad dimensions of class, race, and gender within the Chicano and Latino U.S. experience.