When keyword searching, use key words
that best describe your topic.The
objective is to get a small group of relevant records.People, places themes, characters, time
periods, events, types of information (i.e. ethnography) issues and more can be
key words.What words or phrases best
describe your topic?
For locating primary source
material, consider these “subject keywords”: sources, documents, personal narrative,
documentary history, archives, manuscripts, correspondence, speech*,
oration, statistics, cartoon*, interview*, oral history*.
Evaluate your search results.Click on the title to view the entire reocrd, including chapters and subject headings. If you don’t see related materials in the top
10-20 items of your search results, reconstruct your search using alternative
keywords, synonyms, narrower terms, more terms, etc.
Note the citation/source information (journal
title, volume #, issue #, and date) before leaving the database, even if
just to go to another window.The
citation is the most important information in the database record and is
required to locate the article text, online or in print.
Raid bibliographies.Books and articles have bibliographies and
references.Use them so you don’t have
to spend hours database searching.
library, like materials are shelved together.When looking for a particular book on the
shelf, also scope out what’s shelved next to it.Books and back issues of periodicals are
inter-filed on the shelves in call number order.
Consult a librarian. We work across the disciplines, will refer you if
necessary, and can help track down sources, explain library services, interpret
citations and find the most useful keywords. The Ask a Librarian service provides 24/7 access to a librarian.