There’s an absolutely ridiculous amount of information out there in the world, with more and more being created, published, and shared every day in a huge number of formats. Sure, searching online is easier than it’s ever been, but you’re probably just scratching the surface when you do a search. How can you more effectively explore information to find better resources for your own academic research and daily lives?
Video created by Edmon Low Library and used under a Creative Commons 4.0 CC BY-NC Attribution-Non Commercial License
Try Searching in a Variety of Ways
1) Search OneSEARCH
a. What is OneSEARCH?
-OneSEARCH is a convenient, easy-to-use search tool that will search nearly all of the library databases at the same time. It searches the library print catalog, EBSCO, ProQuest, GALILEO, Credo, and JSTOR.
-It does not search Axis 360, TREN, or TJL.
b. Benefits of using OneSEARCH:
-A quick way to search that covers most library databases at one time
-Offers a lot of variety in types of sources (For example, you can search for books and articles at the same time)
c. Disadvantages of using OneSEARCH:
-Lots of results
-Results are coming from hundreds of databases at one time, so there will be more irrelevant results
2) Search a General Database
General databases typically include a wide range of topics. These are great for background and overview searches to get you started understanding a topic and discovering various search terms. Some examples include:
3) Search Subject-Specific Databases
What are Subject-Specific Databases?
These databases focus on a single academic discipline or group of related subjects. Examples include:
Benefits of using a subject-specific database:
-More relevant results, assuming you choose an appropriate database
Disadvantages of using a subject-specific database:
-It takes longer to search multiple individual databases, instead of using one all-emcompassing search tool
Where do I find Subject Specifc Database?
-See our website page called Frequently Used Databases under the Find Menu at the top.
-See our Databases A to Z page for a complete list of individual databases.
Benefits of searching Google:
-Easy and familiar
-May be useful to find basic information to get started searching for more academic resources
-Helpful for doing background research on an author's level of education and life experience
Disadvantages of searching Google:
-Returns millions of results, most of which are not scholarly and not suitable for research papers
Note: Try using Google Scholar which limits mostly to scholarly results and can help redirect you back to scholarly content offered through your library. See the instructional document linked below--"Google Scholar Instructions"