Deep, scholarly, academic research takes time, and when it's correctly done, the research practically writes the review for you. Outlined below are some research methods to help you focus on how to perform scholarly research and how to get the most out of the information you learn.
Up to this point you have identified your topic and scope of the review. Next, begin identifying resources to use in the review.
Take a piece of paper and jott down any keywords that describe your topic. Use a thesaurus or reference tool (like the library's Credo Reference Database) to help generate the list, since both types of sources provide general information. These words act as great search terms when you begin researching in the library's databases. Having the correct keywords can open up your search results and return may helpful articles and sources. With the wrong keywords or non-descriptive ones, your searching will return shallow results and take longer to perform.
If you want to discover the best search results, try the following methods described below.
Give it a try! Go to your favorite database and perform the following two searches:
Search terms: biographies on african americans (without quotation marks)
"biographies on african americans" (with quotation marks)
Notice the difference in results. Without quotation marks return many more results than with them.
Abstract: Often author generated, these brief summaries provide the researcher with the article" />
Subject: This is a great place to use those key terms you wrote down. Many databases feature an internal thesaurus. It acts like a book index. Like the abstract, subject terms are often supplied by the author. If the author lists one of your search terms as a subject term, it is very likely that their article will be of use to you in your research.
Title: If your search terms appear in the title, it is likely the article will be useful.
Below is a brief list of different types of resouces. Clicking on the name will take you to an entry in Credo Reference Online defining the term and describing what type of information you will find located within them-
Have you found a journal article that library does NOT have full-text access to? Don't worry! We can get it for you within 48 hrs. and have it delivered straight to your email. This service is called Rapid ILL. To use it, access the link below. Research just got easier!
Remember - when requesting an article, please make sure all the information boxes are filled in. The ISSN is most important! It is the mechanism that sends the request to a library who has the article.
Import citations from research databases